There’s a number of things out there that go pretty damn good together. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Thunder and Lightning. Nuts and Bolts. Blood and Guts. However, when it comes to synthwave, there can be something said about how certain subgenres go well with specific themes such as the companion piece that is darksynth and horror movies. In the case of Rated-R, this is executed as intended, dripping with that certain type of synth-sleaze that one could only hear on the soundtrack of a late 70’s/early 80’s B-movie slasher flick.
It all starts with “Deadly Perversions,” an aggressively haunting opening track which makes you feel uneasy from the start, rising in tempo like a creep in the night before fading into silence just as you turn around. You’re eventually met with the titular track, “American Slasher Funk,” and much like the name implies the song itself does have a little bit of a funky feel to it while still retaining that hard knife-like edge; it’s an interesting juxtaposition that works really well.
“In the Dark” is certainly a lighter-fare, much more high-energy than the ones that came before, perhaps the sort of track that gives you a little semblance of hope from within said darkness? Regardless, that optimism is quickly dashed in the next track as “Right Behind You!” opens up with a little bit of sinister dialogue between a killer and his victim during a rainy night. The beat that follows is equally as intense with the synth sounding frantic, like a maniac stalking you with such unpredictable behavior; you never know what you’re gonna hear next!
Such is the case with “Hauntings” as it ebbs and flows in such a weird way, backed by a wonderfully done traditional piano sound, which helps to ground it a bit all while also having an otherworldly feel at the same time. “The Killer Wave” and “Thrillacide” are both tracks of which I can only explain as being akin to ‘darkrun,’ which is to say it’s an interesting matchup of darkwave with an OutRun vibe. It’s the kind of music you’d have blaring in the background while on a high speed chase in a hearse. “Thrillacide” is the most notable of the two simply in terms of including such an ear melting guitar solo! It shreds hard.
The album ends with “Moog’s Monster” which is an interesting experiment of a song that, quite honestly, can’t really be explained in words and thus I will leave it to you to experience firsthand. Either way, much like the entire album in turn, it’s a killer and one that should not be overlooked in anyway, shape, or form. As Rated-R says on his Bandcamp profile: “catch him before he catches you!”
They’re also apart of Nine20Six Records.