Werewolves in Siberia, The Rising 

EP Review

Boisean Chris Cavoretto already wrote one love note to 1980s horror when he started punk label 1332 Records--a number that is 666 times two, making it "twice the evil," he told BW in 2006. But after selling the label to current owner Levi Poppke, Cavoretto moved on to a new project, also a love letter to the neon dystopia of late-20th century youth culture: Werewolves in Siberia.

The Rising--the project's debut EP, which was released in March and quickly followed up with several collections of new songs and remixes on Bandcamp--has seven tracks of low-budget, horror-themed synth rock, sparse metallic beats and arpeggiated laser sounds. You can almost hear the squeak of a VHS player and the heavy panting of an actor sweating it out in a bad monster costume in the background.

And while it certainly evokes the feeling of the time and its cultural tropes, Cavoretto's project is mining the past, which gives off a feeling of epic corniness, and not strictly from aping the B-horror style.

Though there are some great '80s synth sounds, the arrangements of the songs are fairly rudimentary, almost like the cut-and-paste sample style that can be made by quickly looping beats in GarageBand.

There are some nuggets of gold, however. The throaty bass and beat of the second track, "The Rising," is reminiscent of Filter's "Hey Man, Nice Shot," and many of the arpeggiator patterns used throughout the EP are wonderfully dissonant.

But in the end, Cavoretto's success at calling forth those horror movie themes may ultimately be the EP's biggest obstacle. Werewolves in Siberia's The Rising would definitely make for great soundtrack music, or find a home on a stock audio website. But as a song collection, its struggles to find the necessary footing to stand alone.

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