Back in 1987, Seattle crossover/hardcore ragers The Accüsed put out their second album, the incredible More Fun than an Open Casket Funeral! We inducted it into our Hall of fame in our May 2019 issue, and for good reason: this is one horror-infused, thrash-tinged, crossover classic.
And, man: it’s got songs. I don’t think that’s really talked about enough when this band’s name gets brought up: The Accüsed knew how to write incredible songs, ones that we remember when we haven’t even listened to them in ages, ones that stand the test of time.
Those classic songs are why this album rules, but how do they rank up to each other? Challenge accepted.
Not sure what to say about a 50-second song that’s essentially a bass solo except that it’s a 50-second song that’s essentially a bass solo. It’s got a quick fade-out, it’s kinda quirky, and it’s actually kinda cool, but of course it’s gonna end up here at the bottom of this list. Kinda works in the context of the album, though, which is pretty impressive.
13. I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead
Silly acoustic toss-off numbers don’t bode well for repeat listens, but I must say this one is pretty awesome as a showcase for Blaine Cook’s outrageous vocals and has also managed to pop up at random in my head countless times over the years. I dunno, hard to love it, but equally as hard to hold anything against it.
12. Devil Woman
Something’s gotta round out the bottom three, so let’s put this Cliff Richard cover down there, although I gotta say the Accüsed do novelty covers better than most, this one being a stomper that is just impossible to not love when it’s playing, even if sometimes when glancing at the track list I kinda wish it wasn’t there. Amazing vocal performance, though, and I can’t deny that chorus.
11. Splatter Rock
It’s the term coined for the band’s sound, so, sure, why not write a song called “Splatter Rock”? Disappointingly, it’s not one of the better songs on the album, but it’s a fun, slower-paced one to give a bit of groove as the album starts to come to a close. Neither here nor there in some regards, although when it’s playing I do find myself thinking this could just play forever and I’d be content enough.
10. Life-less Zone
On an album full of incredibly catchy crossover killers, this one is a bit forgettable, but I appreciate the fact that it sounds like the band is barely holding things together yet they just keep plowing forth, the song a bit of a mess but a lovable mess all the same. Don’t get me wrong: this is good stuff, and the fact that it’s messy chaos is nothing but a good thing when it’s this band in charge.
I love so many of the song titles on this album, like this one, which rules. Song rules too, the band getting appropriately slimy and dirty but still keeping the punk racing along, the beat almost d-beat, the vibe almost Autopsy-ian, or at least Abscess-ian, everything just grimy and gross and great.
8. Take No Prisoners (No One Left Alive)
Man, lots of bracketed song titles on this album, the song attached to this pair of parentheses being a cool, late-album frantic mosh, the band really getting to the mean median meat of what makes The Accüsed so great, everything coming together perfectly in a concise package.
7. Judgement Day
Love how the band slows this one down a bit for a mid-tempo (note: still fast) bit of breathing room, the song’s excellent, haunting melody worming its way into everyone’s head immediately, some hints of classic punk to the riff, the song a bit unconventional in ways and also totally awesome in ways.
Fully half of the songs on this album are crossover classics, and I certainly include “Scotty” in that list, the drumming totally bonkers, everyone just trying to go faster than each other, then catch up to each other, then go faster than each other. Love the chorus here, one of about a hundred legendary Cook moments on this great album.
5. Mechanized Death (I Love to Drive)
Short and fast hardcore rager here with an amazing song title, the band hunkering down and managing to make this one catchy even though it’s balls-to-the-wall speed from start to finish. Great chorus, and the verses rule too, the band really tapping into simple crossover glory here.
4. Rape (Not a Love Song)
One of the more disturbing samples in metal history opens up this one, which is most certainly not a love song, the band instead hitting hard and sludgy up front and then taking on serious issues with a sledgehammer once the music picks up into a fast rager, with some incredible vocals from Cook.
3. Bethany Home (A Place to Die)
Not sure why really, but this song just lodged itself into my brain when I first heard it all those years ago and never really left, the verses totally great, the chorus just beyond great, the lyrics just weird and kinda chilling, everything about this one just totally ruling. There’s some stiff competition on this album, but I love this song.
2. W.C.A.L.T. (We Can All Live Together)
I love how after the somewhat digestible and memorable opener “Halo of Flies” the band just doubles down and gets even faster, even wilder, even more unhinged, for this anthem for unity or something or rather, the chorus stuck in our heads forever even if it is just total chaos. Love it.
1. Halo of Flies (The Deadly Blessing)
Oh man, talk about classic crossover album openers, this insane track absolutely laying down the goods straight away, the vocal delivery from Blaine Cook just off the charts, the band throwing down Slayer riffs over DRI attitude with much success. Love the energy, love the vocals, love the attitude. Killer opener to a killer album, one that definitely deserves its Hall of Fame status, and one that will live on in metal/hardcore/crossover history forever.