For the next installment of the Album Cover Art series, I’m once again going into the denim-covered time machine and setting the controls for 1987. Today, we examine a fantastic album cover from a band that, in my opinion, remains vastly underrated.
Seattle’s The Accused were often placed in the category of a ‘crossover’ band. It was a genre of underground music that combined hardcore punk with heavy metal, with varying degrees of success. Although The Accused certainly blended those genres, what they created was a sound that was undeniably unique and instantly recognizable. The band itself called it “Splatter Rock”, and in light of my own reverence for them I’ll call it that too. We’ll spare them the ‘crossover’ tag today.
The cover to More Fun Than An Open Casket Funeral breaks from the standard mold of records of that era. The formula was usually the band name or logo at the top of the cover, art in the middle, then album title at the bottom. It’s not a bad formula to follow, it made for easy browsing at the record store. As long as your name/logo/art/title was well done, the formula is never an issue. What The Accused did on this album was the title across the top in big freaky letters, with the band name in a cartoon bubble afterthought. (BY THE ACCUSED!) They didn’t even use their standard band logo.
It worked. The album artist was none other than legendary underground cartoonist S. Clay Wilson. As you may well expect, it’s a trippy hot mess of debauchery. Along with the iconic Checkered Demon enjoying himself, the funeral party is in high gear. See if you can spot the coke-snorting snake. While not a scary cover like Reign In Blood, it’s an uncomfortable cover to look at. Greasy, sort of. Wilson has had serious health issues in the last decade, and is no longer able to draw as he used to. This cover, and his contribution to The Devil’s Reign II: Psychedelic Blasphemy, are truly works of art to be cherished.
I’m sure there will be fans of The Accused that will bring up their 1988 release “Martha Splatterhead’s Maddest Stories Ever Told” as their finest hour, and I’d be hard pressed to mount a serious argument against them. “More Fun” is the one for me though, and if I close my eyes and listen, I can go back in time to fall days and dirty denim jackets once again.