Here at Black Metal & Brews, it’s well established that the backbone for my interest in more extreme cultures was a seriously gothy upbringing. I have more memories of The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, and dressing up as a Ghostbuster than I do anything else. With this knowledge at hand, it’s easy to guess that Halloween is my favorite holiday. With tonight serving as the night for Halloween parties, you might be looking to freshen up your soundtrack. Fear not, friends, for I have just the gruesome brew for you. While it was released a year ago, Toxic Slime Records‘ cult classic The Cauldron: A Mixture (Vol. 1) has just been issued on vinyl for the first time, courtesy of SINIS Recordings.
The Cauldron is a collection of eerie and upbeat numbers from acts like The Shakey Shapes, The Houlie Ghoulies, and The Broomsticks. None of these acts existed prior to this compilation and each consists of the same core of four members, just with a switch of instruments. The drummer on one song might be playing keyboards and singing on the next, making for a collection that is both singular in idea and diverse in execution. The overall vibe is undeniably that of classic spooky garage rock, but there’s enough play and experimentation to keep even the boldest explorers excited. Toxic Slime excels in both humor and kitsch while making songs that are instantly memorable, although there are a few ragers for those coming here from the more extreme end of the spectrum. “The Day I Wore a Witch’s Hat” by Curse Curl goes from zero to sixty with little warning and Blacknight Lightmare’s “Blood Moon” is as dirgey as your favorite hip new retro-doom act with none of the pseudo-occult trappings. Still, some of my personal favorites are the quirkier numbers like Dr. Gene Splice’s “The Creature,” which shares a fun spin on the mad scientist trope and The Houlie Ghoulies’ “Swamp Chick,” which drips with creepy cool. All in all, it’s good clean fun in a seasonally appropriate package that you can still enjoy year-round, as the songs are strong enough to carry themselves any day.
Grab a copy of this record on orange vinyl while you can. 150 copies were made and this won’t last long. For tonight’s festivities? Stream it online or download it from either label’s bandcamp page for a measly $6.66