Ginger Nuts of Horror
Vinyl Destination is a blast. The core concept is pleasingly mental – evil-dead-meets-cosmic-horror which gets corrupted by the records that have been used by the council to line the refuse pit said horror is sleeping in, waking it in the process, resulting on the hapless inhabitants of Bellbrook being gradually turned into musical icons from the last half century – and the delivery is gleefully demented.
The sheer number of gags per minute are impressive. Not all of them landed for me, but enough did that I was consistently chuckling throughout, an early running joke concerning fish fingers being a particular highlight. The big advantage of such a joke heavy approach is that if any one punchline doesn't grab you, it hardly matters – two more will be along in a minute. Often, too, momentum builds, as absurdity is topped on absurdity, leading to a few genuine belly laughs. It's deceptively smart stuff - Millard has a real gift for combining the mundane and the absurd, colliding them together with poise.
The story is, as you'll have surmised, slight and very silly, but it zips along at a good pace, never outstaying it's welcome or dragging. Short chapters help with this, keeping us bouncing between different groups of protagonists in various rediculous predicaments. Millard does a very good job with this, in that I never lost track of who I was visiting with at any one time, despite the large cast and regular scene changes – again, under the hood of the silliness of the piece is some genuine writing skill.
There's a particularly fine set-piece sequence in the town nightclub around the halfway point which I really enjoyed, and I found the action from there up to the finale really enjoyable and engaging – even managing to squeeze in a dash of drama amid the ever-present jokes.
Overall I found Vinyl Destination to be a breath of fresh air – a fun, knowing romp through the tropes of horror fiction and popular music, with enough good humour and energy to keep the pages turning at a good pace. Very entertaining.
The town of Bellbrook is digging a new dump. They conceived a brilliant idea for containing the toxins within; line the bottom of the dump with old vinyl LP’s that nobody listens to anymore anyways.
What they don’t know, what they couldn’t have known, it their excavation awakened an ancient evil. What happens next… is the day the music undied.