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Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: The Night Creeper

Psych-horror heroes peel back some layers

Having wafted out of the desolate fens of Cambridgeshire barely six years ago, and in that comparatively short time going from an essentially one-man studio project to being handpicked by Black Sabbath to support them throughout their Europe excursions, you could perhaps forgive Uncle Acid and his Deadbeats if album number four – The Night Creeper – was a hideous rock opera or a confusing collection of riffs, ballads and unnecessary experimentation.

It certainly has a concept to match (something about how the record “could’ve started life as an old, cheap, grime-covered 25 cent pulp paperback”, but then is “adapted into a film noir, which itself is then remade 20 years later as an ultraviolent, slasher Italian giallo film,” according to mainman Kevin Starrs).

Far from it, however – if anything, The Night Creeper represents a partial step backwards after the comparatively more luscious, summer-of-love-gone-wrong journey of Mind Control. Recorded in analogue heaven – London’s infamous Toe Rag Studios – while there is certain bombastic nature to the likes of Pusher Man and the insanely catchy, hook-laden Murder Nights, the LP’s stripped-back, almost mono-like directness, imprisons it all in the good Uncle’s deranged world, where Betamax never disappeared and pop sensibilities are still no bad thing.