They will make you laugh, yet tremble with fear. They will make you feel that the world has come to an end. They will make you question your own sanity. They will make you thirst for blood, for the taste of fleshâ€”or at the very least, get you to dance your ass off like a motherfuckerâ€¦ “They” are Evil Nine, who are back from the dead with the release of their much-anticipated new album, They Live!, due out in late October on Marine Parade.
Don’t be surprised if They Live! does for zombies what Daft Punk did for robots. With stomping electro drums, ’80s Italian horror-movie synths, dirty punk basslines, and a wanton disregard for genre rules, the infamously subversive dance/electronic duo create an unstoppable soundtrack for the new zombie revolution, down to the gory horror-show cover imagery courtesy artist Dan Mumford, infamous for his sicko album art for Gallows and other punk/metal classics. The treats inside prove equally cinematic and shocking: the title track (and first single) pays irreverent homage to cult director John Carpenter’s classic 1988 sci-fi ghoulfest They Live with its ultra-catchy vocoder chorus (“They walk, they lie, they love, they live!/They wake, they fall, they cry, they live!/They fight, they fail, they die, they live!”). “We love that film and the weird, crunchy, stripped-down analog-electronic scores John Carpenter creates,” Beaufoy says. “I’ve had a massive fascination with zombie films since I was a teenager,” Pardy adds, “and it just seemed time to re-light the fire of the undead to spring upon the masses. After all, zombies are just like usâ€”just give them a chance!”
The “They Live!” single offers a fitting introduction to the rest of the Brighton, England-based group’s new full-lengthâ€”a worthy successor to their 2005 album debut You Can Be Special Too, one of the most acclaimed electronic albums in recent memory (“Just killer tracks,” VICE; “Assertive, chunky, majestic,” The Independent; “The Beastie Boys would be proud,” Q; “Best album I’ve heard in a long time,” Pete Tong; “Awesome,” Zane Lowe; “Album of the year by the hottest producers,” Eddie Temple Morris). For one, They Live! the album features a number of surprising collaborations, a tradition started by Aesop Rock’s blinding guest verse on â€¦Special’s hit “Crooked.” Foremost is Def Jux’s radical mastermind El-P, whose brutal spitting transforms the apocalyptic slammer “All The Cash.” “We hooked up with him after our DJ set at Coachella last year and really got along,” Pardy says. “If there was one rapper we wanted to work with, it’s El-P. And he was up for something different: I don’t think he’s much of a dance-music fan, but he’s very open-minded musically.” Elsewhere, Beans (of Anti-Pop Consortium) turns “Set It Off” into a Goth-meets-hip-house burner, while David, vocalist of KitsunÃ© buzz band Autokratz, adds melodic New Wave melancholy to “The Wait.” “I’m not sure what David’s singing about,” Beaufoy admits. “I think it’s about getting laid after a gig and trying to slip away quietly to avoiding any awkwardness.” Additionally Seraphim (from Brooklyn indie-electro seditionaries No Surrender) and Bristol scenester Emily Breeze also make crucial cameos. “To us, Emily’s the female Danzig,” Pardy explains. “It was great having her make ballsy punk-rock-chick noise over us pretending to be a rock band. We always like to push people to do something completely new.”
Creating this army of like-minded iconoclasts is all part of Evil Nine’s plan to confound expectations. To that end, They Live! features pounding tracks that will work in any club, but filtered through unexpected influences spanning ’80s cock rock, The Cure, early Prince, krautrockers Cluster, Can and Tangerine Dream, vintage noise punkers Suicide and Black Flag, and newer sonic saboteurs TV On The Radio and Queens of the Stone Age. As such, “Behemoth” welds Timbaland rhythms to Black Sabbath heaviness; “Feed On You” comes out somewhere between Beverly Hills Cop and a phantom death march; “Dead Man Coming” loops soundtrack composer/Goblin member Fabio Frizzi’s theme from Zombie Flesh Eaters with ragga rudeness courtesy Toastie Taylor of U.K. rap crew New Flesh; “The Wait,” meanwhile, incorporates the experiments of Paul Lansky, the early synth pioneer whom Radiohead sampled on “Idioteque.” “He’s a mad Princeton professor who experiments with strange noises,” Beaufoy explains. “We’re obsessed,” Pardy says. “We can usually find something positive and inspiring about most of the music out there, we then fuck it up and twist it into our own thing.” Equally individual will be Evil Nine’s kinetic new live show: it features Pardy and Beaufoy singing and playing dueling bass guitars, synthesizers and samples onstage, along with an actual human drummer and a fittingly spooky visual phantasmagoria. “We want people to come to the shows dressed as zombies to add a Rocky Horror Picture Show element,” Pardy says. “We may even give away fake blood. We need all the help we can getâ€”after all, we’re just two zombies versus the world!”
1 Feed on you
p: this song was the last we wrote for the album and it was destined to be the opener, it’s somewhere between a zombie death march and miami vice incidental music. go figure!
2 The Wait Ft. David Autokratz
t: we did a million versions of this track but when we added a sample of paul lansky’s crazy noises, thats when it came into its own . melancholy but strangely uplifting with dave going on about girls and being on the road , at least i think thats what he’s on about .
3 All the Cash Ft. El-P
p: if there was one rapper we really wanted to hook-up with on the album it was el-p and to our surprise it actually happened. he kills it as usual over our epic, brooding drone-rock stomp….
4 They Live!
t: featuring the vocal talents of pardytron, they live tells us about all the things “they” get up to in a roboty voice backed with beats as heavy as an elephant or a small bus .
5 Ngempa Guzom
p: have you ever wondered what zombie choirs mixed with a crunked-out john carpenter rip-off sounds like? No? neither have we but we created it anyway and named it after a bhutanese public holiday called ‘the meeting of nine evils’, we also spelt it wrong.
6 How Do We Stop the Normals?
t: for those heads down lost in music moments on the dancefloor . its all techno wiggles and jan hammer moments twinned with a super triumphant breakdown . roll up the sleeves on your suit and miami vice it up.
7 Dead Man Coming Ft. Toastie Taylor
p: fabio frizzi’s soundtrack to ‘zombie flesh eaters’ is one our favorite’s so we sampled it and stuck our buddy toastie taylor over the top for good measure. gruff, moody, hopeful…… emotional!
8 Set It Off Ft. Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium)
t: this could be the soundtrack to the bit in the film where the goodie walks into the vampire/zombie/alien nightclub and all the the baddies are dancing away and that . except normally the music in those bits is really shit and this is good ! its beans , of anti pop consortium on the mic ; setting it off .
p: im not sure where this one came from really, its probably the darkest piece of music we’ve ever written. it’s got that zombie death march thing again but this time we didn’t hold back on the death, epic as fuck!
10 Born Again
t: a moment of calm before the storm . a melody played on kazoos or bees turns into a miniature prog rock epic with pardytron singin his roboty heart out .
11 Twist the Knife Ft. Emily Breeze
p: it’s all lipstick, neon lights, fast cars and us pretending we’re in a rock band on this one. emily breeze is a fucking punk rock goddess, the reincarnation of glenn danzig except that doesn’t make sense because glenn danzig isn’t dead.
12 Luke Goss
t: nihilistic , antisocial , unrelenting , luke goss unsubtley smashes up the place like a monster truck derby in a china shop . its also contains our tribute to sonic youth with a wailing wall of feedback section . yikes !
13 Icicles Ft. Seraphim
p: we wrote this specifically to be the last track on the album, the epic last song, the emotional goodbye and thats just what it is. seraphim’s sweet, heartfelt vocal just pushes the point even further…….. goodbye!