Psychobilly music is a mash-up of punk, goth and rockabilly. Its exponents, fans of such bands as Demented Are Go, Creepshow and Hellfreaks, sport brightly coloured extended quiffs - or wedges - often combining impeccable rock n'roll attire with zombie makeup. 1950s Sci-Fi iconography (think B-movie posters) and tattoos also feature heavily. And psychobilly - via complex and very entertaining routes of transmission - can be considered one of Romanticism's late, and very much undead, cultural forms.
While Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) isn't a "zombie novel" per se, it develops several motifs that inform psychobilly, and the book looms large in the genre's collective unconscious. Throw in Romantic dandies and gothic romance more generally, and you're practically there. I wouldn't be fulfilling my Romantic responsibilities if I didn't immerse myself in the form. So here's my take on the style through alter ego, Elixir Chimera and the Pulpits (all words found on the same page of Frankenstein) ...
Coleridge's great cradle poem, "Frost at Midnight", was composed in Nether Stowey in 1798 while the poet was struggling with the social and psychological pressures of living under state surveillance. The poem describes a seasonal February frost, but alludes also to a wider political frost that Pitt's repressive government was laying across the country. The poem's reference to the Frost performing its "secret ministry" is as chilling today - newly chilling - as it was in the midst of the Romantic period's own war on terror ("terror" then signified by the French Revolution and its anti-monarchist sympathizers).
In today's Click On Wales (23.9.13) published by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA), I discuss a new chill affecting political discussion, particularly where Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) - or drones - are concerned. You can read the full piece here.