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San Diego's Deadbolt, the self-professed "scariest band in the world," plays what they call "voodoobilly." The term a little misleading though; their sound is more like Dick Dale playing a special gig at a s?ance. In other words, slightly gothic surf-rock that is more than a little bit amusing in the incongruity of its influences. But just when you start laughing, Deadbolt gets so spooky and dangerous that you can't help getting a bit scared. Their albums are filled with creepy tales that will make you feel like you are in Botswana gunning down a group of machete-wielding poachers who were trying to move in on your rhino. Get it? So surreal it's funny -- but wait, it's actually kind of scary.

By now the members of Deadbolt -- voodoo guitarist/creepy organist/vocalist Harley Davidson, bassists R.A. MacLean and 3rd Degree Burns, and drummer Clay Moore Mines -- are veterans of the voodoobilly business, with five albums to their credit. Their third, 1996's Tijuana Hit Squad, featuring "El Perversio," wanders the crime-ridden streets of that notoriously seedy border town just south of San Diego. Their fourth, 1998's Zulu Death Mask, features the track "Macombo's Revenge" as well as the sounds of salivating jackals over tribal drums (supposedly smuggled from Africa), which only add to the black magic atmosphere. Their fifth, 2000's Voodoo Trucker, which includes "Blacktop Fever," conjures the dark side of life on the highways of America, complete with truck horns, radio sounds, the whiz of passing cars, and even accident noises. See how you feel about driving to work in the morning after a couple of listens.

On their sixth LP, 2002's Hobo Babylon tells the tales of those who traincars, find love on the road, and live outside of the law. With songs like "Who Whacked Paully," "Bitch Tried to Kill Me," and the featured "One Day I Will Kill You," Davidson tells his stories in the ghoulishly absurd tongue-in-cheek fashion you've come to adore. Without a doubt, Deadbolt's voodoobilly will rattle your bones and leave you with a creepy aftertaste.

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