Maybe you missed this trailblazing L.A. goth-rock-punk-metal outfit when the stylistic mishmash first reared its head, but 25 years later there's another chance. Well, sort of. As Dinah Cancer is the sole remaining member, she's preceded the original 45 Grave name with her own. That guarantees her trademark screeching vocals and spooky stage presence; her touring band is no less regarded, as she's joined by guitarists Rikk Agnew (Adolescents, Christian Death) and Jaime Piña (Chemical People).
One of the first to put the "ew!" in Ghoul Punk, they scored airplay on MTV with "Evil" (back when MTV actually showed videos) and a track on Return of the Living Dead. Their crunching guitars and deep drumming never reach warp speed, but stretch out lengthwise somewhere between metal and punk. The real lure is Cancer, the queen of her domain at a time when nicknames were more important than musical prowess and people understood the cheekiness of "acting" like a vampire. Touring some 20-odd years after her heyday, promoting a boxed set, and working on a live DVD, this Cancer doesn't look ready to succumb.