“Recorded, produced, and lovingly hand-packaged by fire-breathing frontman Zeke Sayer, The Humms’ debut LP is an 18-track behemoth of psych-rock energy. The raw garage psycho-billy numbers that dominate their live shows are all here. The shotgun blast opener “Blood Sucking Vampire” establishes the band’s signature, sinister tone, and that tone lingers throughout like the stench of reanimated flesh, from the zombified swing dance “Buttermilk,” to the satanic surf of “Brown Haired Devil.” In between these well-traveled live staples, however, the band shows off surprising versatility and a rarely seen softer side.
Southern gothic-flavored acoustic numbers like “Uncle Sam Took My Baby Away” bring their spooky sensibility to traditional country, while the eerie, doowop-tinged “Strawberry Glue” sounds like it’s drifting straight up from the malt shop jukebox in hell. For a band that specializes in ghoulish shocks, the most shocking thing about this album may be the presence of the truly touching “Talking to a Ghost.” Without abandoning his commitment to spirit world imagery, Sayer offers lines like “we’ll stay and haunt this haunted house/ watch cable from the old wood couch/ pack smokes from your tobacco pouch/ at least I finally found myself” with a gentle whisper and a heartfelt sincerity. All of this diversity makes The Humms’ first album something of a mixed Halloween bag, full of a few tricks, a lot of treats, and not one lemon in the bunch. Presumably, when life gave The Humms lemons, they made Lemonland.”