Sep 2023 16

Album CoverPitch Black Manor
Album: Scream Team
Category: Goth / Rock / Post-Punk
Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2023-09-01
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Resurrected like a zombie ravening for fleshy delights, Pitch Black Manor has been more productive in this second life with multiple releases, and even returning to the stage in 2022 for the first time in 27 years. Although a shorter offering than the preceding albums, Scream Team picks up where Night Creeps left off, exhibiting more of the matured songwriting and cleaner production values of that album, while also chockfull of the brazen, boisterous, belligerent bombast that makes Pitch Black Manor the perfect music for any frightful festivity.

The title track alone is worth the price of admission, offering up demonic cheerleader chants to supplement Joshua Bentley’s signature lyrical irreverence, his tone somewhere between Ric Ocasek and Lux Interior; indeed, if The Cars, The B-52s, and The Cramps were to have a horrid threesome, “Scream Team” would surely be the bastardly result. Keeping things in a firmly lascivious mindset, “I Want You to Haunt Me” struts in with a bubbly disco/R&B number that feels like David Bowie or The Talking Heads trying to write a sexy spooky romp, while “New Funk” lives up to its title as Lyle Erickson’s effervescent guitars and Chad Fifer’s bouncy synth and bass grooves excel in their hip-thrusting swagger, matched only by Bentley’s breathy staccato delivery. We also have the unhinged chorus and wailing guitars of the scorching post-punk of “Cry Havoc,” the stridently catchy bassline of “Wicked Jenny,” and the pure electro/goth rock party anthem of the closing “Rev It Up,” but the clear standout of the album is “Long Dark Night.” Beautifully grim and luscious in its gloominess, the trickling interplay of twilight pianos and chilled guitar lines atop a jazzy beat is hands down one of Pitch Black Manor’s best pieces of music, topped off by Bentley’s passionate vocal performance.

Make no mistake, Pitch Black Manor takes terror very seriously, with Scream Team presenting a fine soundtrack for any congregation of cannibal hillbillies, vengeful scarecrows, alien blobs, wretched hags, and all other things that make those bumps in the night. Arriving just in time for the witchy season, this is just the record to give your neighbor’s children the most enjoyable nightmares they’ll ever have… and certainly a few of the adults too.
Track list:

  1. Cry Havoc
  2. Scream Team
  3. I Want You to Haunt Me
  4. New Funk
  5. Wicked Jenny
  6. Long Dark Night
  7. Rev It Up

Pitch Black Manor
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