Song: "Speak, Marauder!"
Artist: Cinema Strange
Search Term: "Marauder"
Cinema Strange seem to be commonly categorized as a "death rock" band, which makes it no surprise that "Speak, Marauder!" deals in mutilation and rot the way most disco songs fall back on the topics of booties and boogying. Evocative lyrics like "Legs of wood, burlap, canvas, belt, and hood/And screams like freezing rusty nails and stitches running through his neck" suggest that it may be about a haunted scarecrow? Or a living soul consigned to a scarecrow's body? Whatever it is, there are a lot of well-thought-out, successfully creepy images on offer here.
However, lest you think Cinema Strange are a self-serious bore like most bands who try really hard to be sinister, their music evinces a sense of playfulness and humor that neither betrays the ghoulish lyrics nor allows things to get dour. Between the tinny drum machine, the Radio Shack keyboard, the rubbery phased/flanged guitar, and Lucas Lanthier's pinched yelp, the production is so proudly cheesy that it sounds like the Residents fronted by the Tales from the Crypt Crypt Keeper. (So, you know, like the Residents.) At six and a half minutes, it overmatches my attention span by 30% or so, but it's nevertheless an intelligent slice of B-movie grime by that rare band who realizes how blurry the line is between horror and camp and wisely embraces both sides.