After all of this mostly respectful Christmas music, I had to throw in one crazy stupid ugly horribly song. But that’s mostly because I forgot it existed until I stumbled on it the other day. The Happy Flowers were a terrible band (seriously). They were the kind of band that seemed to blossom in the late 1980s which don’t seem to exist anymore (for better or worse). They were beyond noise, this was just a crazy noisy pile of sound with screamed lyrics that have nothing to do with the music.
I loved them. But not really, because they were terrible. But it was fun to know that people not only made music like this but that it could find a record label (and presumably an audience). I used to enjoy playing their songs on my radio show.
The Happy Flowers were two guys from Charlottesville, VA. They were in another band (the Landlords) so presumably they could play their instruments, although I don’t know that band at all. Their stage names were Mr. Horribly Charred Infant, (drums, vocals) and Mr. Anus, (guitar, vocals), so you have a sense of what we’re dealing with here. And yet you really can’t be prepared for it.
This song is basically just feedback and two adult men screaming about how they wanted to get toys for Christmas but all they got was clothes. For four minutes. And it made it onto the above compilation, God’s Favorite Dog, with Big Black and the Butthole Surfers.
If your Christmas didn’t live up to your expectations, perhaps you need to hear this. Or perhaps not.
[READ: December 29, 2014] Locke & Key 6
I knew I couldn’t hold out until the new year to finish this series. I was compelled to keep going. There was nothing I could do to hold back, as if some kind of spirit kept pulling me towards the books.
And the ending did not disappoint. Well, it did disappoint a little in that so many people ended up dead. I couldn’t believe how many people who I grew to care about were killed in various ways.
There’s really no time for flashbacks in this book, although we do get occasional look-backs. We see the Locke kids make up with the friends that they have alienated. We also see that the kids’ mom has been sober for 30 days (this whole series takes place over a much longer time than it seems).
We also see Rufus come to say goodbye to the Locke family. While he is waiting for Bode to come up from the water, Rufus sees Bode’s ghost who tells him that the person in Bode’s body is not him but is actually Scout. Rufus immediately attacks Bode when he arrives. This send Rufus to the same institution that Erin Voss is in. While he’s in there we see him already making plans to escape. And it turns out that Erin Voss is able to communicate with him (sort of) and she is able to help in her own way.
Then it’s prom night. Kinsey looks adorable in her dress, Jamal looks lovely in his finery and Scot and Julie had a bet so he is in a white dress and she is in a tux. Ghost Bode tries to communicate with his mom, but she can’t quite understand him. And then Scout Bode comes in and forces her to drink and drink, making her unconscious and unreliable. The kids are planning to have an after party in the caves, which frankly can only mean trouble anyhow.
But the book is mostly about Scout amassing his power. He calls the shadows forth and starts making his big plans to build his army from the high school students. And then the shadows start to attack everyone.
Then the plan is revealed–Scout has brought everyone to the cave and he is going to use the omega key to release some spirits. He plans to use some of the kids as minions and kill the rest. And everyone is trapped in some way. How can good prevail?
The ending is magnificent.
I enjoyed this series so much, I may have to go and read some of Hill’s other books. (I’m thinking Horns is the next place to go).
I also see that there will be a book 7 of ones offs some time in 2015. So that’s pretty cool too. Thanks Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez for making this really disturbing, really fantastic story and for adding some unexpected excitement (and violence) to the end of the year.