"You say that guys looks queer / I know who you said is me" - Mars Creature
These opening words to 長毛怪樂隊 Long Hair Monster's 4 song EP paint a scene familiar to any metalhead - ostracism, scorn, and contempt from the world surrounding them.
And it soon follows with every headbanger's defiant retort:
"I don't care about your opinion because this is Real me"
But the opinions in my little corner of the world are much more loving. Guitarist 秋生 Cho Sheng of Triple Six has been enthusiastically telling me about the Tainan trio for months, and now they have finally arrived in my life. Yes!
"Gold is shiny / that chick is pretty hot /
you like em' both but / you may be suffering cause it's all smoke" - Gold
Topically, this is metal at its best, anthems lashing out against demons both within and without, fighting with sincerity, urgency, and wit.
Musically, Long Hair Monster is an interesting animal.
Rich in classic 80's metal riffing, a heavy back-end, wailing solos, wah pedals, and harmonic squeaks & squawks, Long Hair Monster is nonetheless highlighted by 阿寶 A- Bao's distinctive voice.
It makes me think: what if Dr. Frankenstein had made a new monster, fusing Tom Keifer's, Udo Dirkschnieder's, and Brian Johnson's vocal chords together, and then let this creature rampage through a Jack Daniel's factory, swallowing broken bottles and glass shards along with the elixir it contained?
It's that vicious, forceful, and wild.
You can feel 阿寶 A-Bao's spine curving and eyes rolling up into his head as he pleads against the darkness haunting him, haunting us. What's even cooler? This is what really happens when he sings live.
It's pretty awesome.
The EP marches forth, growing heavier and more intense. The ending track Schiz rises slowly, erupts, sinks, and repeats the cycle of exorcism, desperate for relief. And then... it's over. All too soon.
I want more!!!
Only one thing left to do, and that's play it again.