NEKROMANTIX

Published on May 28th, 2022

Globalization might be a nightmare for the economy and the environment, but sounds and scenes flowing freely around the world have only done wonders for music. Consider the distinctly southwestern-American genre of psychobilly finding its preeminent practitioners in the Danish band Nekromantix.

In Copenhagen back in 1989, stand-up bassist Kim Nekroman (nee Dan Gaarde) turned his love of horror movies and rockabilly music into a ferocious band that might just be good enough to complete a trinity of psychobilly with the Cramps and Reverend Horton Heat.

Nekromantix started as a two-piece with Nekroman and collaborator Peter Sandorff busking on Copenhagen’s “Strøget” promenade (think Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road Mall). As the duo accepted krone coins they worked out the songs that comprised their debut album, 1989’s “Hellbound.”

If there’s a Nekromantix signature besides the guttural rage of Nekroman’s singing and his gravity-defying mohawk, it’s his “coffinbass,” a black upright four-stringer in the shape of a casket that he wails on with barely contained fury. The first one was fashioned, ghoulishly enough, from an actual child-sized coffin. Nekroman later taught himself woodworking to build later editions enhancing his capacity to bash out tunes about werewolves and wickedness.

The nine Nekromantix albums to date are remarkably consistent in their blasting lyrics and music, and their obsessive storytelling about monsters and murders. After bouncing between European labels for four albums, Nekromantix found a home in America in 2003 with Hellcat Records. Albums with pun-tastically witty horror titles soon followed, including “Life Is a Grave & I Dig It! and “A Symphony of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes.

(Hellcat also signed a kindred band, Horrorpops, that Nekroman founded with fellow Dane and psychobilly fanatic Patricia Day.)

If the 2019 concert film, “Nekromantix: 3 Decades of Darkle,”faithfully represents the live show, Nekromantix are still a high-energy horrorthon. Francisco Mesa flays guitar, Rene “Delamuerte” Garcia hammers on drums, and Nekroman attacks that coffinbass like he’s trying to wake the dead.

Nekromantix and the Venomous Pinks open for Dead Kennedys, 6:30pm Sunday June 19 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale facebook.com/Nekromantix/ ~ David Rolland

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