Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Satan’s Pilgrims “Frankenstomp”

Very few bands in today’s music industry make it past an album or two before they split to create another band or simply give up altogether. It is really rare in today’s music industry to find a band that stays together for any length of time. So when a band like Satan’s Pilgrims stays together for over two decades, that’s really something to celebrate.

The Portland-based band of Satan’s Pilgrims is one musical outfit that has truly created a lasting legacy in today’s music industry. The band is currently closing in on celebrating twenty-five years together as a band. Satan’s Pilgrims include: Dave Pilgrim on guitar, sitar, organ, percussion; Scott Pilgrim on electric guitar; John Pilgrim on electric bass; Bobby Pilgrim on electric guitar; and Ted Pilgrim on drums.

Having spent so many years creating original compositions as well as cover arrangements of well-known surf rock instrumentals, the band has taken some time off from recording. In fact, it’s been several years since Satan’s Pilgrims has released an album. The last album from Satan’s Pilgrims was 2009’s Psychsploitation. Since then, they’ve been rather silent.  However, the band recently decided to release a 27-track compilation album that brings a lot of the band’s musical history together in one place. The new 2015 release from Satan’s Pilgrims is entitled Frankenstomp.

Frankenstomp from Satan’s Pilgrims brings together well over an hour of music from the surf rock band to remind old and new listeners of what the band can do. When listening to the new compilation, you can easily tell that the band is able to hang with the best of them. And since the band was influenced by artists such as The Ventures, Duane Eddy and even Dick Dale, it’s easy to tell why they have lasted as long as they have.

Satan’s Pilgrims’ new release of Frankenstomp consists of a mix of musical treasures that can be found on the many different releases created over the years by the band as well as live tracks and even a demo. The live tracks on the release include “Haunted House of Rock” and the album’s title track of “Frankenstomp”. The two live versions allow the listener to experience just a snapshot of what it would be like to catch the band live in concert. While the studio tracks on the album show the writing and playing abilities of the five members of the band, the two live tracks included in the release show what the members of the band can do on stage and the tracks give the listener an even better glimpse into what makes Satan’s Pilgrims such an interesting band.

Along with the twenty main tracks, Frankenstomp includes several “bonus tracks” that help to add value to the package as a whole. One of the bonus tracks that is really interesting is the radio commercial that had been created for Satan’s Pilgrims’ most recent studio release of Psychsploitation. While the band somehow overlooked adding any of the songs from that album to the tracks of the Frankenstomp release, the inclusion of the commercial for the Psychsploitation album at least gives those familiar to Satan’s Pilgrims music and the new audience to the band a reason to check out that album.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the entire Frankenstomp release from Satan’s Pilgrims is the final six tracks on the album. These six tracks make up both sides of the band’s very first release. The inclusion of the original six-song cassette from the band allows the listener to see just where the band started out. One of the shining highlights on the six-song release is the band’s version of the Santo and Johnny classic “Sleepwalk”. As you listen to these early songs from the group, you get the feeling that the band really had gelled rather quickly.

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to delve into a band’s history the way you do with this album. Each track on the Frankenstomp release from Satan’s Pilgrims shows slightly different sides to the band’s collective personality. With each song, you hear different influences come through that helped to shape the band’s sound over the years. And while the music from the band is the most important element to the release, the different sources within the band’s musical catalog used to create the album also help to make Frankenstomp a “must hear” album. Whether you currently are a fan of Satan’s Pilgrims or you have yet to experience the band, Frankenstomp is well worth the time to check out.

To hear the song “Frankenstomp” from Satan’s Pilgrims, click on the link.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Frankenstomp from Satan’s Pilgrims.