In 2009, Kepi Ghoulie proved just how much of a lovable softy he really is. The guitarist/singer of the Groovie Ghoulies, a now defunct Pop-Punk band, screenprinted a pair of red and white Valentine's Day cards for sale through Asian Man Records. One had a whale gracing the front while the other featured a rat.
Both images were cartoony, cheery and lovably dopey. On top of that, each card came with a CD featuring sparse, acoustic renditions of “Supermodel,” an original, and “Kiss the Girl,” a cover of the song from The Little Mermaid.
Key lines from “Supermodel” exemplify the doggedly childlike lyrical angle Ghoulie prefers: “Supermodel versus you, supermodel loses/Movie star versus you, movie star loses/Anybody versus you, anybody loses.” Ghoulie's nasal voice never contains a shred of sarcasm or irony, and the sense of devotion is glowing. The tradition has carried on since then with a third card/CD combo due in early 2011.
Ghoulie's Valentine's Day cards are a good reminder that the Sacramento, Calif.-based musician has kept himself occupied since the Ghoulies' unfortunate break-up in 2007. In 2008, he oversaw a pair of LPs released under different names. Kepi and Friends' American Gothic was a breezy, predominantly acoustic record with cameos from 7 Seconds' Kevin Seconds and The Muffs' Kim Shattuck. Meanwhile, Kepi the Band's Hanging Out was an electric-heavy affair from his new, occasional band, which includes members of other Punk outfits like The Secretions and Helper Monkeys. The latter keeps the sprightly, Garage Rock-tinted sweetness of his old band alive, but for as entertaining as his current projects are, these are hopefully only distractions until the dissolved trio reunites.
Kepi once cited The Ramones and Misfits as two of his primary influences, and no confluence of those bands could ever be as wonderfully fun as the Groovie Ghoulies.