It's natural to freak out a little when inanimate objects autonomously zoom around the room, the walls bleed, and the phrase "GET OUT" mysteriously appears on your bathroom mirror. But most of the time, finding out that your house is haunted is no reason to piss yourself. All a typical phantom needs to hear in order to dissipate into oblivion is something along the lines of "We, the living, are awfully sorry about whatever events you're so perturbed about, but, hey, shit happens, and it's time to stop bothering the nice people and move on."
DE-CRAMPED Ghost Scorpion! stay firmly unconvoluted while renewing the retro-a-go-go vibe of the Ventures and Dick Dale with a touch of Reverend Horton Heat.
Most exorcisms are nothing but elaborate mystical hugs, and most ghosts are just attention whores. But every generalization has its glaring exceptions. During this past year, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion! received numerous validating pats on the head — yet they're persisting in their refusal to relocate to the infernal nether realm whence they came. This is a bad thing if you're troubled by agents of Satan roaming the Earth. It's a good thing if you like surf rock with a plot.
"It's like a backwards rural revival," explains guitarist Vince Vance DeLambre regarding his band, the only active combo in town who claim to have been dead for almost 50 years. "Instead of showing people the light of Jesus Christ, we're showing them that they would be better off bewaring the dangers of a ghost scorpion."
Just as Spawn was called Al Simmons during his formative pre-death years, the first appearances of Ghost Scorpion! followed the demise of the Fishercats, an amateurish quartet of misunderstood juvenile delinquents out of Denton County, Texas. On a rainy night in 1963, after a gig at a high-school dance, the Fishercats' car crashed and burned off the road near Goatman's Bridge. No one survived.
This tale might've made good fodder for a Shangri-Las song had it not taken a terrifying turn. Shortly after the post-sock-hop tragedy, an instrumental horror-surf outfit bearing an uncanny resemblance to the totally dead Fishercats began gigging around Denton. They came to be known and feared as Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, and then they vanished as abruptly and inexplicably as they appeared.
Flash-forward to May 2010: Ghost Scorpion! are reincarnated at the Midway Café. Since then, to compensate for the laziness immortals often develop once they realize how much time they have on their hands, they've completed a pair of titillating EPs and a two-week tour spent mostly down South, where folks take God, Satan, and seminal rock and roll seriously.
In an Arlington hair salon basement they're partial to haunting, the corporeal forms of DeLambre, guitarist Professor Coyote Science, bassist Snake Boy Henry, and drummer Glotch drink a case of Miller High Life, decline to disclose exactly what brought them to modern Boston, and claim they spent 1965 through 2000 crashing séances for fun and profit.
(Okay, DeLambre and Coyote Science could be confused with Mike McCullagh and Scott Jones from dispersed alt-country faves Cassavettes. But in their five years with Cassavettes, neither wore a bandana across his face or claimed to be a ghost. These obviously couldn't be the same guys.)