John Bates Super Chrome Deluxe

John Bates is trying to meld hard rock, surf, and modern goth culture together and it just isn’t working. Maybe it’s the fact that his singing voice is an unconvincing cross between Bauhaus and Jello Biafra, or that there are far too many references to the devil, spiders and latex clothing to even keep track of. It could also be that some songs almost have a half-assed Metallica-like feel to them. The actual lyrics are just way too obvious as well, with lines like “I hope I die before I wake, like Marilyn Monroe” making you want to sell your CD player. There’s even an unintentionally hilarious “hidden” bonus track called “Debbie Does Dead Things,” the contents of which are so stupid I can’t repeat them. The bio tries to pass this record off as being in the same league as Dick Dale and Reverend Horton Heat, but there isn’t really a connection to any of that stuff at all. “The Curse Of Jed,” which could have maybe been a passable little instrumental, is soaked in a cheesy ’80s metal “chorus” effect and is therefore ruined. Other bands like Forbidden Dimension and even the Bomboras have brought a few of these same influences together a lot more successfully than John Bates who just can’t seem to get anything right. This is awful. (Tommy Floyd)