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Sarah Tomlinson


San Diego-based voodoobilly quintet Deadbolt comes bearing the self-appointed title of “The Scariest Band in the World” and a whole spell book of stripped-down rockabilly anthems dedicated to decimating the great unwashed—such as “Watongo (Beware You Dirty Hippie),” or their bad acid trip “Go Tell Alice,” both from last year’s greatest-hits album, Haight Street Hippie Massacre. Campy, sure, but that’s the shtick, from the band’s over-the-top tough-guy image (rockabilly-playboy fashions, black shades and firearms!) to the horror-movie villains that haunt their songs—the band may be a bit of a one-trick pony at this point, but it’s a pony still worth whipping, even after this many miles. Singer/guitarist Harley Davidson fronts a triple bass-guitar attack, a vector for the plague of voodoo truckers and Zulu warriors who inhabit the handful of themed albums Deadbolt has released since the mid-’90s. Their low-rider surf anthems are all tightly coiled twang guitar and vocals that trot from spooky cool to apocalyptically demonic heights. Deadbolt’s the whoopee-cushion-wielding younger brother of horror punk originators the Damned—convenient that they’re finally touring together.