Russia’s Messer Chups is an act whose evocative titles tell you a lot about their sounds and sensibilities. Albums with names like Surf Riders From the Swamp Lagoon, Vamp Babes, Miss Libido, Church of Reverb, etc., and songs called “Rockin’ Zombie,” “Coffin Dolls,” “Ghost Hop,” “Go Satan Go!,” “Lipstick Twang” and such, descriptively set the tone for what’s to come when you drop the needle on one of their records. Think of The Cramps’ psychobilly aspect mashed up with good measures of surf rock and spy themes, then add in B-grade horror movie and softcore sex films sounds and concepts, a little exotica . . . and then channel all of that through the collective mindset of a troupe of experimental, playful Russian musicians, and you have an idea of what the group is about.
Messer Chups are also a particularly visually inclined act. Their videos – there are loads of them to be found on YouTube – are sometimes even more enjoyable than the songs they were made to promote. In recent years, much of the image appeal behind the act’s films has come via the singular person of their bass player, Svetlana “Zombierella” Nagaeava. Zombierella has been with the band since around 2005. She is one of the more longstanding members of the act that was first formed by mastermind Oleg Gitarkin aka Gitaricula in the late ‘90s, in the wake of his previous, similar outfit Messer für Frau Müller. In the clips for Messer Chups songs like “Insomnia of the Mummies,” “Chupacabra Twist,” Zombierella vs. Octupus Man” and the like, the attractive bass player with the rockabilly/B-movie pinup visual style, is often found battling and/or frolicking with mummies and other outrageous trash horror movie creatures. The videos are like the band: funny, sexy, experimental, and rockin’.
Messer Chups’ most recent in a long line of album releases is titled Spooky Hook. It’s both spooky and filled with hooks. The band is on tour this summer, in Italy in July and coming to the U.S. in August. Judging by online videos of their live performances, their show is worth catching for sure.
For those uninitiated into the Messer Chups universe, here’s a twangy, ghoulish batch of suggested songs of theirs, to get you started:
“Model” (Kraftwerk cover)
“Go Satan Go!”
“Devil Out of Fashion”
“Surf N Rolla”
The band’s website can be found here:
They are also on Facebook
By Brian Greene/2016
© Copyright http://www.psychedelicbabymag.com//2016