Swingin’ at the Seance (The Moon-Rays)


The Moon-Rays are the B Movie Lounge/Surf/Jazz House Band. Their superior CDs so far include Thrills and Chills, The Ghouls Go West (featuring my theme song, “Thrillville”) and Sinister Surf, all amazing amalgams of sci-fi surf, hipster horror and drive-in delirium, retro-cool but timelessly toe-tapping sonic cocktails served straight up with a twang and sometimes a theremin. Their latest excursion into esoteric exotica, Swingin’ at the Seance, is a smooth melodic martini with a dash of Count Basie and a Louis Jordan float. Head hep cat, songsmith and crooner Scott Mensching and company have managed to translate their trademark blend of  Beachside Beatnik Brass and Ginchy Go-Go Guitar into a pulsating platter of jumpin’ jitterbug jukebox jazz, circa the 1930s-’40s. This is the music that may have – should have – accompanied those traveling “ghost shows” that used to play at midnight matinees at bijous across the country, featuring mad musicians and “live spooks” to scare the audience. They could sell this as the lost soundtrack to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein or Bob Hope’s Ghost Breakers. The Deco-dent dozen ditties are all smokin’ samples of scary swing, with titles like “You’ve Got Me Voodoo’d,” “Skeletons in the Closet,” “The Spooks Jump In,” “Haunted House Blues,” and even a cover of Artie Shaw’s theme “Nightmare.”  Images of Cab Calloway in a zoot suit, leading a parade of grinning Max Fleischer ghouls will literally dance in your brain as you listen. Try keeping your feet still, too. Check out samples and order your copy on their MySpace page.

(Will the Thrill)