HP Lovecraft - Hollowe'en in a Suburb and Others (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

HP Lovecraft

Hollowe'en in a Suburb and Others (2016)

Cadabra Records

I’ve been listening to a lot of really heavy stuff lately for review purposes, and was looking for something to give my ears a break. I found it in the form of HP Lovecraft’s Hollowe’en in a Suburb and Others. It’s the next in a series of seven inch records containing poems by the master of macabre. They are read by Andrew Leman, co-founder of The HP Lovecraft Historical Society, to give the project an added layer of legitimacy. Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of all time. His morbid tales of the occult have long been favorites of the genre. Unfortunately, his poetry feels much more pedestrian, at least by modern standards.

I can’t imagine anyone who loved A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th would be impressed by this, let alone the generation who grew up watching the torture porn of the Saw series. “Halowe’en in a Suburb”, “The Cats”, “The Garden”, “Festival”, “Astrophobos”, “Despair” and “The Messenger” all fall a little flat. Leman’s vocal inflections are very subtle and the readings come across as monotone. The understated background music sounds like it was made by someone who just got their first Casio keyboard. At its worst, the sounds resemble one of those lame CD’s you’re supposed to play at your equally lame Halloween party.

I remember going to the library as a kid and listening to storybooks on records. Maybe they’re going for the nostalgia factor with this. It’s a very nice package, but for me it just doesn’t warrant repeat listens. Hollowe’en in a Suburb and Others is limited to 150 clear copies, hand screened with silver ink on french paper with artwork by Sam Heimer. Promotion for this is being handled by a company that deals mostly in metal, so there may be some crossover there. Other than that, this is probably for the HP Lovecraft fanatic only.