with the Cryptkeeper Five and the Green Goblyn Project
The Hustler, Indialantic, FL• August 10, 2000
August 10th was an eagerly anticipated “Bloody Night” at the Hustler, as horror ska-punk kings the Independents invaded for a night of gruesome debauchery beyond compare. The South Carolina-based quintet always puts on a fun, loud, and exciting show, and tonight’s stop on their “Back From the Grave” tour was no exception.
First up on the bill were the Independents’ tourmates, New Jersey-based horror-punks the Cryptkeeper Five. Decked out in matching workshirts and greaser-punk aesthetic, the Cryptkeeper Five showcased a muscular, loud, and fast garage punk sound with rockabilly influences. Members of the (unfortunately sparse) crowd encouraged the band to get naked, but the band demurred, explaining that as they hadn’t showered in days, the crowd really didn’t want to see that. However, they indicated that one member (who shall remain nameless) had recently bathed by running through a car wash!
The band wasn’t afraid to keep moving, pacing the small stage restlessly. Vocalist Deadboy crooned with an Elvis-by-way-of-the-Misfits growl, with just the right amount of menace to drive the songs. The band showed their love for fifties and sixties rock with punky-yet-respectful covers of Richie Valens’ “Come On Let’s Go” and Tommy James’ “I Think We’re Alone Now.” All in all, a great set by a great band.
Next up on the bill were local (dead) boys the Green Goblyn Project. Vocalist Chris paid a sly tribute to the band’s name by wearing a Spider-Man costume tied around his waist. The band played a short set of nicely sludgy punk rock, and seemed to have a good time, excited to be on the same bill with the Independents. While they only played a handful of songs, they made a good impression both musically and visually, with touches like their cool, pin-up emblazoned drum kit.
Finally, the stage darkened, and the spoken word intro from Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil album heralded the Independents’ arrival onstage. Fog enshrouded the stage, and then a flurry of light, movement, and dead babies exploded as the Independents lurched into “New In Town.” Frontman Evil Presly briefly stalked the stage before deciding it was too small to contain him, and spent the majority of the band’s set in the crowd, singing to (and along) with fans and generally stirring up trouble. When confronted with Evil in their faces, the crowd did not back down – instead, they got more riled up!
The new line-up of Travis T. Grimm (bass), Blackie Levay (keys/guitar), the Rockin’ Rabbi (drums), and longtime guitarist Willy B sounded great as they sped through the tunes, including such favorites as “Love Sucks,” “Bloody Night,” “Beer Song,” and their classic cover of Cookie Monster’s “C is for Cookie.” As the set went on, the crowd got rowdier, flames shot from the stage, and at one point, a comely young lass even joined Evil onstage for a little dance that almost bordered on pornographic. It was all in fun, though. As the set wound down with a pair of covers of songs by two of the band’s biggest inspirations (Elvis’ “Suspicious Minds” and their crowd-pleasing cover of Danzig’s “Mother”), there was no denying that the Independents are still the kings of horror ska-punk. Great bloody night!