Embrace Me, Love of Death
The Jack Chick Project Volume 1
The geniuses at Yaaaaa! Records have simply produced the greatest rock opera since Tommy .
For those not in the know, a gentleman named Jack Chick publishes small comic book "tracts" used by street preachers and others to spread Christianity. Many of these tracts, although none is more than twenty pages or so, contain highly elaborate stories, usually exposing Roman Catholicism as the Whore Church of Revelation or detailing the hidden conspiracies behind Halloween, rock and roll, and Freemasonry. Oftentimes these tracts may be found in telephone booths, on the street, stuck under a windshield wiper, etc. Many young people, I understand, have large collections of Chick Tracts, and some long out-of-print tracts command top dollar at comic book conventions. Well, now that we're up to speed...
Embrace Me, Love of Death is nothing less than a complete rock opera composed of vignettes based upon various Chick Tract titles, each sung by new bands that Yaaaaa! discovered not too long ago. Even though the album comes in a two-CD set, there's so much material to be covered, that Yaaaaa! smartly labeled Embrace Me, Love of Death as "Volume 1," and they've promised to release not only two more discs of tract tunes, but, provided sales are favorable, they'll release the Holy Joe's rock version of Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons in early 2001.
The album starts off with the Party Girls singing "Bad Bob Meets The Bull" which leads right into Somebody Loves Me's version of "Death Cookie Attack." Those two are pretty brutal, but they set the pace for the rest of the opera. Which I think was smart, Chick tracts pull no punches, and it would be a disservice had they lulled the listener at the beginning with the Green Angels' version of the title track, which is a bit more relaxed than, say, A Demon's Nightmare's "Why Is Mary Crying?" Further along, the Sissies sing "A Wild and Crazy Guy," the Tycoons do "Back From the Dead," and Tiny Shoes do kicking versions of "Jeopardy?" and "the Visitors." Also included are the Traitors singing "The Last Generation" and Hi There, who do an amazing rendition of "This Was Your Life!" Embrace Me, Love of Death will definitely make it into the rock history books as one of the twentieth century's greatest.
Yaaaaa! Records, 77 Hawhawhaw Road, Waco, TX 97865