The Royal Hounds
I’m in Love With a Zombie
Knoxville rockabilly trio the Royal Hounds flaunt blistering chops and an estimable wit and manage to hint at the anarchic showmanship that reigns at their live performances on their debut album, I’m in Love With a Zombie. Led by the perpetual motion dynamism of lead singer/stand-up bassist Scotty Hinds, the Hounds tear through 11 original rockabilly numbers and three folk and rockabilly covers with the kind of bottomless gusto that is usually the exclusive province of small children with loud toys and a sugar buzz, or maybe a gang of speed freaks on a serious amphetamine bender.
Tracks like “Hillbilly Swing,” “Jake Brake,” and “Stick’a Dynamite” sizzle and pop with Hinds’ unruly four-string wizardry and rapid-fire lyrical cannonades. Guitarist Brian Lee, meanwhile, goes tit for tat with Hinds every time he pushes the envelope, driving the songs into redline territory with breakneck grooves, fleet-fingered solo flights that threaten to fly off the rails at any moment.
There are moments when, admittedly, the Hounds’ songs come off as rockabilly by the numbers, and their particular brand of cornpone juvenilia wears thin; a song about a DJ taking over all the gigs their rock band used to play is entitled “D-Bag DJ.” Really?
A cover of John Hartford’s “Golden Globe Award” doesn’t help much; the song is supposed to serve as a clever—or at least chuckle-worthy—double entendre, one would suppose, but in actuality, it comes off as a pretty pointless single entendre—pointless, that is, unless you are a young male still in the throes of puberty.
Mostly, though, I’m in Love With a Zombie is fun, and funny, a well-produced introduction to Knoxville’s swankest and sharpest rockabilly band. Zombie sold separately.