Terry O’Sullivan gives us a couple of tracks with a punk theme.
What better way to celebrate the period of the macabre than with some appropriately themed music. Horror punk rose out of the East Coast punk scene in the US in the late 1970s by mixing the rebel energy of punk rock with the aesthetic and themes of 1950’s Hollywood horror and science fiction B-movies. The weirdly hypnotic melodies of rockabilly and 1950s doo wop give this brand of punk music some dance floor attraction missing from some brands of punk. While the scene has fractured since its humble beginnings, there is still a devoted following who continue to dress up like they are about to go trick-or-treating and pile into many a sweaty basement to listen to men with face paint scream about zombies, alien invasions and ghosts. Here are few suggestions to the perfect Halloween playlist of horror punk.
‘Hybrid Moments’ – The Misfits
This little ditty about being carved up by ghouls showcases all you need to know about horror punk, the lyrics ‘You hide your looks behind these scars’ sum it up adequately. The Misfits single-handedly created the genre in 1977. Led by Glenn Danzig, the man called the Elvis of punk rock due to his crooning qualities, they started a revolution which inspired bands as diverse as Metallica (who covered a number of their songs on their Garage Inc. album) and Green Day. Famous for their raucous gigs and inventing a hair style (Google ‘devilock’ and see what I mean), the Misfits can be said to have truly crossed into mainstream culture today as their skull logo t-shirts are only second to the famous Ramones t-shirt in ‘punk’ fashion. Though they broke up in 1983, but various reincarnations have kept the dark flame burning well into the 21st century.
‘Undead’ – The Undead
This appropriately named band was formed by Bobby Steele in 1980. After being kicked out of The Misfits, he decided to make his own way and in true underground fashion carved out a niche for them that is still going to this day. This song about being tormented by vampires and witches highlights a more hard-core punk sensibility, yet stays true to the bands horror roots.
‘Totalimmortal’ – AFI
Before being known as the MTV emo poster boys with songs such as Miss Murder, AFI (the letters standing for A Fire Inside) were known as the Californian revitalizers of schlock horror in punk. Their songs mixed the more mainstream dark romanticism of emo with proper horror punk credentials. This song would go on to be covered by the Offspring for the soundtrack of the movie Me, Myself and Irene.
This horror super group consists of Wednesday 13, Joey Jordison and various members of bands such as Static X, Dope and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Described as ‘Mötley Crüe meets the Misfits’, they have blended the hard rock of bands such as Guns ’N’ Roses and Alice Cooper (whom they have toured with) and reached quite a large audience. This song, which name checks every conceivable horror film cliché, stars a certain Mr Marilyn Manson in the video as a mad scientist. They go to show that horror punk is far from dead.