The Creature Preachers: ‘A Night to Dismember’

Scary Gary (left) and Greg Regular of the Creature Preachers.


The Creature Preachers from Warner Robins, GA return from the depths of the Southern abyss with a new single, titled “A Night to Dismember.”

Greg Regular (drums, bass, guitar) and Scary Gary (guitar, bass, drums) embrace the spirit of Halloween with a menacing yet melancholy dose of surf rock and horror punk ambiance, blending yearning and mystical imagery with moonlight and the macabre.

“A Night to Dismember” strikes a haunting balance of ‘50s horror movie scores and the melancholy vibe of the Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments”—with a clear inclination for all things the Cramps, the Pixies, CCR, B-52’s, and The Ghastly Ones. It’s an instrumental number, but the organ, guitar, and rhythmic traipse tell a story for the mind’s eye to behold.

“It definitely tells a story which is what you always want in a song, especially with an instrumental,” Greg says. “That’s never easy because there aren’t any lyrics to tell the story for you. We didn’t start out with any particular ideas in mind when we wrote the song. It just kind of wrote its own story. All we had to do was move out of the way and let the song do it’s thing.”

That thing is an equally nuanced and anthemic hellride to the wicked fringes of the darkside.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for the Creature Preachers. The group will be appearing on a few different Halloween compilations this month. There’s also a split 7-inch with their Altered State Of Reverb label mates the Mysterics. There’s another 7-inch and an appearance on a Planet Of The Apes-themed comp. for Missing Fink Records. There’s also an appearance on an Otitis Media Records comp. After that, they’ll start work on their debut full-length album for next year.

The group also has an appearance slated for the Inuhele Tiki Weekend coming up at the Sheraton Hotel Jan. 28-30, 2022.

In the meantime, press play and sink into the Creature Preachers’ ghoulish sonata.

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Didi Wray blends Latin melodies and surf rock kerrang on ‘Misión Tango Surf’

Didi Wray “Misión Tango Surf.” Artwork by Stephen Blickenstaff.


Didi Wray was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but has spent much of the last decade living in Mexico, Brazil, and in Santiago, Chile, where she currently resides. Surf music and wild rock ‘n’ roll are coursing through her veins, and if her travels have revealed to her one universal truth about music it’s that the most powerful recordings harness the energy of everyone playing in the room together, feeling the energy, and sharing the moment. It’s the chemistry between players—the strength of the performance itself—that turns so much reverb, rhythm, and tremolo into the stuff of magic heard throughout her second album Misión Tango Surf.


The CD was released by Surf Cookie Records in 2019. Two years later, Augusta, GA’s Missing Fink Records has reissued the CD and pressed the songs onto vinyl with new cover art by Stephen Blickenstaff, who’s best known for creating the artwork for the Cramps’ Bad Music for Bad People LP. Misión Tango Surf harbors 13 cuts of traditional surf sounds and old-school rock ‘n’ roll played with taut authority and nimble dexterity. The album’s opening title cut moves at a measured, psychedelic pace, blending classic kerrang and reverb with Latin flourishes. Songs with titles such as “Amazonic Hully Gully” and “El Sombrero” find balance in subtle restraint weighed against the full-throttle tremolo picking of “Por Una Cabeza,” and “Terremoto Stomp!” When placed side-by-side here, each song carves out a smooth and cohesive body of instrumental jams.

All told, there are nearly 40 musicians and engineers dubbed Liga Americana del Surf coming in and out of the frey. It’s a fellowship featuring a survey of South American and Mexican musicians including members of Brazilian acts the Dead Rocks and the Pulltones; Chilean groups Los Kanibales Surf Combo, Sindicato Tango Surf, and Los Yawares; Peruvian group Los Protones; Estereofónikos from Argentina; and the Tango-Surf Combo from Mexico.

More guests are sprinkled throughout the album as well. “The Godfather of Mexican Surf” himself, Daddy O Grande of Los Straitjackets brings winding grooves to “Blue Tango” and “Cielito Lindo.” Fellow Los Straitjackets guitarist Gregorio El Grande amps up the pace in “Pisco Saico Twist.” Caleb “Sr. Ramírez” Franco of Lost Acapulco brings steel-string heat to the closing number “St. Katharina Twangwest.” Each of these players dutifully serve the unified, oceanic ambiance of Wray’s vision.

With so many players lending a hand, though, the most Herculean feat here is Wray’s ability to rein in such an impressive cavalcade, and focus on creating unfettered, uncluttered music. Misión Tango Surf pushes the heavily-mined waters of surf and rock ‘n’ roll to thrilling and mysterious new places, while bolstering her flair for Latin cadences and melodies, offering a little shoreline beach break for the hodads and the hardcore alike.

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It’s another Bandcamp Friday! 12 ATL release for your pandemic playlist

It’s another Bandcamp Friday! If you want to spread a some love, support, and a little cash to some local artists today—or any other day for that matter—here’s a quick list of releases I’ve been blasting throughout this whole global pandemic thing.


Warm Red’s debut album, Decades of Breakfast is out now. Vinyl copies should be arriving any day now via State Laughter Records. In the meantime, catch this bit of Atlanta post-punk’s saving grace on Bandcamp. For fans of the Birthday Party, the Jesus Lizard, early Pere Ubu and the likes.



Lowtown has a self-titled, six-song EP posted up on Bandcamp right now. Guitar player and singer Beaux Neal shows off an impressive vocal range, and the group of musicians on the album—singer and guitarist John Pierce, drummer Russell Rockwell, and bass player Aidan Burns—create a rich and mysterious Southern post-indie rock ambiance.



Thousandaire’s self-titled LP (The Colonel Records) has been making the rounds for a few months now, and you know I’ve been championing it from the beginning. The riffs have only become more potent over time. It’s got that Pavement, Superchunk, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr., mid-’80s SST kind of vibe going on, and we could all use a bit more of that in our lives right about now.



Zano Bathroom has a new full-length out, titled Afrikan Sciences Presents: Zano Bathroom’s Universe From A Different Hip Hop. True to the album’s name, this is hip-hop from the outer limits— culled from the same hallowed Huntsville, Alabama soil that transformed the man Herman Poole Blount into the almighty Sun Ra. Zano has never been afraid to dive headlong into some abstract, avant-garde places while honing killer beats and rhymes. For this offering he joins forces with his old cohort Eric Porter aka Afrikan Sciences, and they take hip-hop to deeper into the cosmos than ever before.



Misanthropic Aggression is back with the Covid-19 Reset EP via Boris Records. The tape features six new songs that find bass player and vocalist Jake Benedict taking over drumming duties—at least for this recording—alongside vocalist and guitar player Chris Hammer. The first song to be released from the EP, titled “The Effect of COVID-19 Isolation on the Mind / Unda Nona” is a twisted maze of scream therapy that goes head-on with quarantine/election season anxiety. The Full EP is available on Bandcamp now, with a handful of bundle packages available. Tapes are out November 17.



Adam McIntyre of the Pinx recently released Black Planet, is a twisted rock excursion that finds McIntyre embracing a mixed bag of musical elements (free jazz, funk, and so)—sounds that he’s been denying himself for years, while keeping the Pinx on course as a modern psychedelic rock band from the South.



Symbiote’s latest five-song, Privilege Of A Daydream, blasts five cuts of no nonsense screaming, riffing, classic hardcore, with no real guitar leads to speak of. It’s a powerful and direct release that’s primed for a year of socio-political turmoil.


In August, death rock and goth-punk trio Tears for the Dying unveiled their second full-length, titled Memories. The album was engineered and produced by Tom Ashton of the March Violets, and recorded at Subvon Studio in Athens. Adria Schlenker, Debra Beat, and Candy Cancer shed the keyboard for most of the album’s tracks in favor of a raw, guitar-driven assault—all three members share guitar and bass duties here. Check out that smoldering cover of Christian Death’s “Spiritual Cramp”!



It’s been a minute since Cave Bat last checked in. Cetacean Creation finds the reconfigured experimental musical trio of Nathan Brown, Priscilla Smith, and Phi (Rob Sepanski) returning with a more song-oriented approach to their sci-fi soundscapes.



Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf‘s latest LP, Big Other features four musical pieces that are bursting at the seams with droning beauty, anxiety, texture, and ambiance. The album includes contributions from Jarboe (SWANS), James Joyce (Cheifs, Noot ‘d Noot, Car Vs. Driver), Shannon Mulvaney (MaganpopAnna Kramer, Clobber), Brian Halloran (Smoke, W8ing4UFOs), Billy Fields (Follow For Now, Dionne Farris, W8ing4UFOs), and Xander Cook, with liner notes by author Blake Butler.



Near and dear to my heart, the Cheifs’ four-song 7-inch (Missing Fink Records) stamps in time bass player and vocalist Bob Glassley’s next generation Cheifs lineup—drummer James Joyce, guitarist Scott Hedeen, and vocalist Brad Castlen—expanding beyond the original L.A. hardcore outfits early ‘80s repertoire. It’s an Atlanta punk rock sleeper classic, mixed by Bill Stevenson of the Descendents! I was honored to write the liner notes for this one and final offering from the group.



Duet For Theremin and Lap Steel‘s Scott Burland and Frank Schultz returned this year with a new, eight-song masterpiece of haunting, luminous atmosphere, titled Halocline. Read an interview with Burland and Schultz on RadATL!

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‘Creature’s Surfin’ Shindig’ in Flagpole

My review of Missing Fink RecordsCreature’s Surfin Shindig compilation LP is in this week’s Flagpole Magazine. It’s the culmination of the landlocked Augusta, GA label’s dedication to probing the outer limits of where rockabilly, punk and surf sounds collide with sci-fi cinema and monster movies from the 1950s.

There’s a ton of great stuff on this comp. Didi Wray, Fred Schneider and the Superions, Messer Chups, and more. Check it out at Flagpole!

The Cheifs: Liner notes for the group’s final 7-inch


I was honored to write the liner notes for the new and final 7-inch by the Cheifs.

Bob Glassley was a man out of time. He was a hardcore sleeper cell who reawakened in 2016 with the uncompromising spirit and forgotten insights of Los Angeles’ early ‘80s punk snarl…in Atlanta. And he arrived like a thief in the night.

James Joyce called me that summer to ask if I remembered or knew anything about an old punk band from California called the Cheifs. He explained to me that he had been tapped to play drums with a new version of the group and wanted to know if I was interested in doing a piece on them for Creative Loafing. It wasn’t long after that we were all gathered around a table at Manuel’s Tavern discussing the legend of the band, and listening to Bob’s stories about his involvement in the early West Coast hardcore punk scene. Absorbing so much Cheifs history and lore was like discovering another great band that had been there all along, albeit buried by the sands of time, now uncovered and brought into full view.

At the end of 1982 in a set of circumstances singular to Bob’s life, he stepped away from punk and playing music altogether. He traded his bass for a computer and never looked back. As a result, his knowledge and familiarity with punk was a perfectly preserved time capsule. It also fostered a beautiful state of arrested development; he knew West Coast punk circa 1978-1982, but nothing beyond that. However, he understood the art of the outsider, the art of being an individual driven by righteousness, and the self-reliance of punk before fashion and hairstyles eclipsed the lifestyle, and before mainstream attention introduced the elements of violence and intolerance that ultimately pulled the scene apart.

Bob’s return to music was a reaction to right-wing influences gaining a stranglehold on America. He took a no-bullshit political stance –– he was outspoken with his opinions, and punk gave him direction and purpose in the shadow of the Trump presidency. But Bob also projected a raw, down-to-earth wisdom, and a forgotten knowledge and etiquette that affected everyone with whom he crossed paths, from his bandmates to the faces in the crowd. While loading out after playing shows at The Earl and 529 in East Atlanta, he connected with homeless people who were asking for spare change. He treated everyone with dignity and respect.

With the new Cheifs lineup in place, the group gigged hard in Atlanta and eventually the Los Angeles area. Bob seemed to know, maybe subconsciously, that he didn’t have much time left on earth. Not wasting any time, the group played and recorded as quickly and as often as possible. Whenever Bob took the stage wearing a “We the People” T-shirt (brandishing an image of the Constitution of the United States), he embraced the audience, reveling in the moment and screaming defiantly into the void of mortality.

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Bob unexpectedly died of complications related to liver cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease a mere two weeks prior. He was 58. The following Saturday the Cheifs were set to play a sold-out show at the Masquerade supporting the Descendents, a big coup for the new lineup. Just four nights after his death, the Descendents opened the show by unleashing the most powerfully cathartic blast of “Everything Sux” the group had ever performed.

During the encore, James, Brad, and Scott joined Milo and Karl on stage for one last send-off, playing four final Cheifs songs as a dedication to Bob, and to all that the new lineup had worked to create.

The four songs captured here are bookends to the Cheifs legacy. Both “1988” and “Heart In Chains” were originally written and performed by Bob’s pre-Cheifs band, Portland, Oregon’s Rubbers. On the B-side, “Alienated” is a new jam that Bob penned. Loosely based on a forgotten early Cheifs song, “Mechanical Man” was partially reconstructed from memory, and hammered into a new form by the current lineup.

The 7” single you now hold in your hands stamps in time the one-year period of intense creativity and rediscovery that Bob and the reignited Cheifs unleashed. The distillation of ’80s punk songwriting and hardcore’s graceful, physical melodies, filtered through a lens of contemporary production, is filled with a new fire and spirit, channeled into a lifetime of fierce, empowering, and truly timeless songs. Fuck cancer. Cheif Out! — Chad Radford