Wretched, Filthy, Ugly: Fun For The Whole Family!
0 comment Monday, March 31, 2014 |

"Fridays: sodomize tender virgin nuns. Tie them up, leer at them, and then I had my fun."
Back in the summer when I wrote a review for Rue Morgue Radio�s release of their first ever album, Hymns from the House of Horror, one of my personal highlights from the selection of terror tunes was a track called "It�s Only the End of the World" by a band named Harley Poe, a group I wasn�t familiar with before downloading the album. A few weeks later I was extremely surprised and flattered to receive a message from front man Joseph Whiteford, asking me to write a review for Harley Poe�s album Wretched, Filthy, Ugly.
That was back in the summer, folks. I can only shamefully attribute this depressing slouch to an extreme case of procrastination and, to be completely honest with all of you, still being self-conscious when it comes to writing about music. I don�t know a beat from a soup sandwich and as much as I love music I can�t help but get uneasy when it comes time to sum up my feelings on a song in words. But I�m tangeting here. Personal insecurities aside, simply said you need to listen to Harley Poe. You owe it to yourself as a fan of the horror genre, especially if you bask in that ghoulish realm where the darkside of humanity is jabbed at with a searing poker of graveyard humor.
Harley Poe is unlike any group I�ve ever listened to. Their songs are always upbeat and some are played with the frenzy of an insane jester, despite the lyrics actually being really messed up. Their use of unique instruments such as harmonicas and cocktail kits (not the kind of equipment one would instantly associate with a "horror band") lends the group this dementedly cheery sound that effectively juxtaposes the content of their pieces with the tone of their music.
The ballad "Suckers," for example, reaches a pace that�s almost comically slapstick, but it�s accompanied by the group�s sexual moans and Whiteford�s detailed account of a slurping vampire delivering a blowjob before draining the poor narrator of his plasma supply. One thing�s for sure: you won�t be able to listen to any of Harley Poe�s songs without cracking at least one twisted grin while bobbing your head to their merrily mad beats.
All of the musical pieces make for great listening, but there are a few that stand out for me and receive repeated plays on my iTunes list. The opening track "Gordon" is a great starting point, as it gets you in just the right skewed frame of my mind for the rest of the album as it tells of the unrestrained depravity of its title character, a deformed social miscreant given to brain consumption and the wanton beating of pussy cats.
"That Time of the Month" is a wonderfully surreal-sounding tribute about a poor man�s honey who has a bad habit of growing hair and running on all fours every now and then. Any song dedicated to werewolves is an instant win in my book, but when you sprinkle it with the fevered delivery of lines like "Oh girl, is it wrong? When you�re in that thong, when I know that you won�t be a girl for long" just makes this a really fun tune that never fails to get me in a good mood.

The folksy ditty "Maria" is also about a gal with a terrible malady, but this one enjoys urinating on floors and masturbating by way of crucifix before her hubby pushes her possessed ass down the stairs. And in the deliciously sinister "Everybody Knows My Name" the instantly recognizable singer recounts his enjoyment of human suffering and the inevitably of everyone meeting His Dark Majesty.
It would be easy for any other group looking to take themselves seriously to infuse their songs with brooding beats and stoic vocalizations, but Harley Poe flips that approach right on its head. If you thought you�d never tap your foot to auditory depictions of sexual deviancy, homicide, and general mayhem, Harley Poe is here to prove you wrong. Listening to the tracks on Wretched, Filthy, Ugly, you can get the sense of giddy fun that each band member has performing these songs.
Their enthusiasm is evident with every shout of the lyrics, every pluck and tune of the instruments. Their use of sound clips from obscure and cheesy horror films also lets you know that these guys are fans, just like us. They just so happen to be in a band and have a ghoulishly great time performing. Right from the grim, bloody illustrations by Whiteford that adorn the slipcase and disc to the jolting jaunts that are contained within, Wretched, Filthy, Ugly is an album that should be given a chance by all fans. I think you�ll be surprised and pleased if you do.
If you desire an instant taste, check out the band�s first music video below. And be sure to check out Whiteford's own blog The Mad Rantings Of Pappy Joe! for information on Harley Poe appearances and Whiteford's other macabre artistic endeavors.

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