Fable Cry - We'll Show You Where the Monsters Are (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fable Cry

We'll Show You Where the Monsters Are (2015)


Take the gothic folk spookiness of Murder By Death and add a heavy helping of Hocus Pocus camp, and you’ve got Nashville’s Fable Cry. The self-described “theatrical scamp rock” group employ creepy imagery and eerie string and banjo folk elements to make music perfect for the month of October. But where Murder By Death often gets serious, somber or introspective, Fable Cry goes over-the-top. We’ll Show You Where the Monsters Are is a fun romp through horror tropes that ultimately is more indebted to The Nightmare Before Christmas than Red of Tooth and Claw.

Heavy on quick waltzes, folksy scuffles, and string-lead minor arrangements, Where the Monsters Are sounds pretty much exactly like you’d think it would. But that’s not to say Fable Cry isn’t void of outside influence. “The Zoo of No Return” is a winking nod to Beck’s “Loser”, with a similarly goofy near-rap in the verse and swaggering drum beat. The album’s heaviest track, “The Train Song”, is coincidentally, indebted to “Crazy Train” in its comparable opening lick. The closer, “Slow Down” begins a fast folk-punk number before turning into a heavy blues-rocker that would be out of place if it weren’t done so right. But ultimately, the music relies on the tried and true elements of creepy aesthetic in its gothic banjo, violent strings, and minor keys.

Of course, the album’s horror movie atmosphere is truly rooted in its vocals and lyrics: a quivering madman singing about, well, you know. Horror stuff. “The Good Doctor” is a modern take on the classic Frankenstein tale, with the narrator making a monster in his own image. “You Ain’t My Baby No More” is a traditional lost-love song with a twist: the narrator mourns his loss, as he has killed his beloved ex, with the great line, “Now that you’ve made your choice/ I have to live with it/ Since you cannot”. Album opener “Onion Grin” is a goofy cannibalistic scramble in which a threat is made to eat your family. All the “spooky” ideas are there, done with theatrical whimsy.

I’ll admit that this type of music isn’t my cup of tea. Outside of the days surrounding Halloween, I don’t really see myself coming back to this album. But I’m certainly not the target audience. Fable Cry has the sort of sound that year-round fans of Nightmare Before Christmas will absolutely treasure. It’s a niche sound, and one that’s done extremely well. But for me, it’ll have to wait until next October.