American Werewolves 

1968 (Fractured Transmitter)

When you get right down to it, the American Werewolves aren't really hardcore. Like the Ramones, the group's rough-and-tumble tunes are really just great rock-and-roll songs -- nasty, hard-edged, dead-serious, 1950s-style jams made by guys who can really play.

1968 delivers on the promise of the 'Wolves' 2003 debut, combining Misfits and Dion influences into an original development in the horrorcore aesthetic. The monsters return with 13 more whoa-oh howl-along songs about things that growl, lumber, and grope in the night. Starting as a slow-dance ballad, "For Your Blood" taps the same morbid poignancy that made Buffy the Vampire Slayer such quality drama: Returning from hell has a certain romance to it, and love turns tragic when it's spiked with bloodlust. 1968 pays tribute to a landmark year for horror films, and 2005 is shaping up to be an equally momentous year for the Cleveland underground.

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