Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 8 – Chew

Mmm, this takes me back. During my formative years I had two chief loves (aside from alcohol and hallucinogens) – punk rock and horror stories. Around this time I was heavily into James Herbert, particularly his Rats trilogy. Something about the horrors of the dark suddenly swarming above ground and devouring us all (especially in Domain’s post-apocalyptic setting) triggered a sweet spot in my brain and kept me hungry for more.

Imagine my delight when I found out that not only had Jello Biafra, irascible frontman for Dead Kennedys, teamed up with jazz-punk legends No Means No for an album, they had also penned a song on this very subject. The album, The Sky Is Falling And I Want My Mommy, is worth buying on its own merits but the sinister atmospherics, slinky bassline and abrasive guitars on this track are the icing on the cake. Jello’s terrified whine tops everything off for a punk-horror masterpiece.

To my London and NYC amigos – enjoy your next subway ride…

 

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Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 7 – Drac’s Back

Who could resist posting a song by The Bollock Brothers? Especially when it contains the chorus “I wanna suck your *whoooo!*”. Ostensibly a punk act, The Bollocks created this is slice of new-wave/disco cheese for their ‘Horror Movies’ single. It’s nonsense, I admit it. Sheer bollocks. Still fun though, I’m not ashamed to post it.

 

Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 6 – T’ain’t No Sin

 

Okay, so this isn’t strictly speaking a Hallowe’en song. T’ain’t No Sin has a long and illustrious recorded history, mostly focusing on the song’s commandment to cast off your clothes and shake your booty down to the ground. Perhaps a little unconventional and unseemly back in the day but certainly nothing sinister. Not till Tom Waits got his hands on it anyway…

For his opera ‘The Black Rider’, Waits recruited the help of none other than William Burroughs to record their own version of the tune. Burroughs’ scratch spoken delivery and Waits’ disharmonic backing render the original tune unrecognisable. In the process the refrain “T’ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones” becomes altogether more ghastly and unnerving.  Well done boys. Well done indeed.

 

Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 5 – Fidget

After yesterday’s more subdued entry it’s time to crank up the volume again. Monkey Boy produce some of the most guttural, visceral, primal rock music I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear. Minimalism taken to extremes with a trio consisting of two bassists and a drummer/singer, they manage to crank out an impressive amount of distorted volume which belies their size. Why choose them for a Hallowe’en song selection? Well, they did release an album called The Creature Of Dr Rumpledink, a tongue in cheek retelling of the Frankenstein story. This track, Fidget, is taken from said album and should provide plenty impetus for fans of dirty, scuzzy bass and music with a sense of humour to rush out and buy it.

PS – If anyone in Taichung would like to start a band sounding anything like this, just give me a call…

Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 4 – Jam At The Mortuary

We’re taking a trip back in time with this one, all the way to 1930. Seems the hiatus between the two world wars was a fertile breeding ground for diabolical hoodoo such as you’ll hear laid down in this track from Griz Green. I don’t know what the local mortuary is like in your neck of the woods but I’m pretty sure my nearest one doesn’t contains mummies and vampires. Maybe regulations have just been tightened up during the intervening years, who knows?

Either way, Griz’s jam is a good old-fashioned slice of jazz horror and could reasonably well set a template for a rocking Hallowe’en party. Hmm, that’s got me thinking…

Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 3 – The Curse Of Millhaven

 

Oops, skipped a day already thanks to homework, playing a gig and rearranging a mammoth ebook collection. Never mind, it’s my party and I’ll skip if I want to. It seems that The Dixie Flatline has joined in festivities so please skip over there to check out Daz’s first offering – ‘Bonebag’ by The Meteors.

Today’s murderous mayhem comes to us courtesy of Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds from the gleefully gruesome Murder Ballads album. This is the tale of young Lottie, the self-confessed Curse Of Millhaven. She recounts her seemingly endless list of psychopathic deeds – murders, assaults, arson – with not a hint of remorse. In her own words “Aw fuck it, I’m a monster, I admit it”.

Why invent ghosts, vampires and zombies when we have the very best monsters already among us? 🙂

 

Hallowe’en Hullabaloo Pt. 2 – The Misfits – ‘Skulls’

Okay, second installment of festive tunes and this time we have the greatest Hallowe’en party band – The Misfits. Glenn Danzig’s merry bunch stalked and thrashed their way through several albums of the finest blood-soaked garage punk ever to hit the streets. Yes, the sound was often akin to listening to it through a wall of treacle. And of course it was simple. And yes, childish. This doesn’t for a second reduce the sheer energy that drips off every song, the ferocity with which instruments and mics are attacked.

Skulls is a prime example – and yes, I have for the moment eschewed their song ‘Hallowe’en’, to be included at a later date. A no-nonsense 2-minute raucous singalong, it slams the listener into the mind of a serial killer desperate for the heads of little girls with which to decorate his walls. “Demon I am and face I peel” indeed. If you enjoy this, try to track down former Lemonhead Evan Dando’s somewhat more sedate cover , all the more perverse for the earnestness which he injects into it.