Horror Punk For Halloween

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Horror. Punk. Get it? Yeah, you got it.

The Halloweening is almost upon us. Wait, no. That’s terrible. Can I start over? No? Fine, whatever. We’re sticking with Halloweening. Lots of spooky scary skeletons and douchebag high schoolers wearing pots on their heads. Metal is no stranger to Halloween, horror movies, and all manner of scary stuff, but for a style of music that loves its subgenres, “Horror metal” never really took off. Yes, there’s plenty of metal bands that have a horror theme, but you don’t really hear about it as a separate genre. Punk, though, has fully embraced the style, creating the subgenre known as “horror punk”.

Punk rarely if ever gets talked about around these parts, but horror punk could serve as a bone-covered bridge to metal. I’m not an expert in the genre and this list is by no means definitive, but here are a few bands that some of you may enjoy.

The Misfits

Let’s get this out of the way now. You know who the Misfits are. Whether you prefer the Danzig-era, the Graves-era, or the Jerry Only-fronted-era (hey, you never know), you can’t deny their importance and influence. Here’s a sampling of all three.

For even more fun, here’s a list of Misfits-related projects: some guy named Danzig, Doyle, Gorgeous Frankenstein, Dr. Chud’s X-Ward, Osaka Popstar, Graves, Gotham Road, and these guys…

Samhain

Danzig’s band following the break-up of The Misfits. More metal than The Misfits, Samhain continued the horror-style content. The band has reunited a few times in recent years including a run on both US coasts in 2014. [Editor’s Note: Pronounced “Sow-in”. Go forth with this information and be more pretentious]

Balzac

Balzac is a Japanese punk band heavily influenced by both The Misfits and Samhain. How deep do the ties run between Balzac and The Misfits? Balzac has recorded multiple Misfits covers, formed a Misfits cover band called 728 Misfits, signed to Misfits Records, and had The Misfits cover their song “Day The Earth Caught Fire”.

While the influence still remains, it’s cool to see how they’ve grown over the past 20 years and become their own band. They also have a few side-projects including Zodiac and The Deranged Mad Zombies.

Nim Vind

Nim Vind is the project of Chris Kirkham that focuses on catchy melodies and some sweet crooning. Even punks need to croon every now and again. Nim Vind’s style is far more polished than the other bands on this list, but that’s a-ok. Chris’s voice is dreamy. It’s the type of music that makes you want to drive to Make-Out Point with your sweetie and do whatever it is teenagers did in the 50’s. I assume it was drinking from the same milkshake and recounting what happened on I Love Lucy. Leather jackets and poodle skirts are recommended when listening.

Blitzkid

Blitzkid were a horror punk band out of West Virginia that unfortunately split in 2012. Something that helped separate this 3-piece from their fellow horror punk bands was that both guitarist TB Monstrosity and bassist Argyle Goolseby could sing. Their strong voices make them very catchy and instantly appealing . The band put out 5 studio albums before calling it a day, plus a few splits and live albums. Goolsby went on to do vocals and play bass for Gorgeous Frankenstein, the project lead by ex-Misfit Doyle, and now heads up his own band Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight.

The Creepshow

The Creepshow is an Ontario, Canada-based horror punk/horrorbilly band. Yes, as in psychobilly. Before you run to the hills screaming about suspenders and crew cuts, give the band a listen. They’re really, really catchy. While I personally enjoy their original singer Jen “Hellcat” Blackwood’s songs the best, Sarah “Sin” Blackwood, and current singer Kenda “Twisted” Legaspi both hold more than their own at the microphone. Comb those muttonchops and get down.

Calabrese

Three brothers in Calabrese having been pumping out aggressive punk with plenty of nods to the macabre for over ten years. They’re the type of band that you want to play in the school gymnasium during the big screen in your horror movie. The band put out “Lust For Sacrilege” this year and head out on the road often, so break out the white t-shirt and pompadour hairdo.

Rezurex

Let’s keep the horrobilly train rolling with the Los Angeles-based band Rezurex. Don’t let vocalist/guitarist Daniel deLeon’s interesting look deter you from checking these guys out. If you’re already this deep into the column without immediately going to the comments section to complain or post a youtube video of some random band, you’re probably already open to a band like Rezurex. They managed to blend catchy tunes with an aggressive edge.

Zombie Ghost Train

If you weren’t thrown off by Rezurex’s look, then you might as well go full out with Zombie Ghost Train. I can’t explain what they’re going for style-wise, so I won’t even bother. Either way, this is a good song from these creative Australians. I’ve seen them described as “gothabilly” which is new even for me. They put out 2 albums before calling it quits a few years ago. I’m also pretty sure I heard one of their songs once as bumped music for NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”

Son of Sam

Son of Sam was a horror punk supergroup of sorts, containing members of Samhain, Danzig, and AFI. AFI’s vocalist Davey Havok sang on their first album and Skye Vaughan-Jayne (Ian Thorne) of Bullets and Octane sang on the second. The band cranked out 2 solid albums, and though they have not been active in a number of years, members have expressed an openness to record again.

The Other

Like many bands in the genre, Germany’s The Other started out as a Misfits cover band. They’ve since evolved to a slightly more metal sound but still have the horror themes. Their strength lies in vocalist Rod Usher’s hollow-sounding voice. I’m sure there’s a better way to describe it than that (booming maybe?), but his style certainly sticks with the listener. Reminds me a bit of Michael Poulsen of Volbeat.

There are many, many other horror punk/horrorbilly bands out there worth noting: Mister Monster, The Cryptkeeper Five, Horrorpops, Nekromantix, The Vincent Black Shadow, Thee Merry Widows, The Browns, and a bunch more. Give ’em a listen this Halloween season.

 

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  • sweetooth0

    I love this type of shit!!

  • Hubert

    Not really my thing, but I’m happy to learn that there’s a band called Balzac.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I do love the Misfits, especially around Halloween. I saw them on Sunday and enjoyed them. I also like all of the lineups.

    • Janitor approved.

    • ME GORAK B.C.™

      GORAK LIKE OLD STUFF BEST!!!!

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        They played Static Age in full when I saw them on Sunday. I enjoyed it.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          STATIC AGE ROCK!!!!

  • You’re no fun if you don’t like punk.

      • Guacamole Jim
        • Yes cargo pants
          No muscle definition

          • Guacamole Jim

            Bacon will do that to you. Plus working out is kinda fun, so: NO FUN. And cargo pants are a dying trend.

            …wait

          • Wait, what’s wrong with cargo pants?

          • Vote for Jeb

            To quote a lady on this: “They’re the Uggs of pants: comfortable, functional, but played out and unattractive.”

          • Fuck em I have 2 pairs that I wear often.

          • Vote for Jeb

            Haha, it’s all good. They just aren’t considered stylish.

          • Well, I’m known to be quite stylish. No one told me this. I’m wearing some now at work that are khakis.

          • Really? Here in Venezuela those pants are still in vogue.

            One more time, we are just smelling ‘Murica’s farts due our constant delay in everything.

          • I’m coming to Venezuela! I’m bringing my goddamn cargo pants with me. Fuck off America style trends.

          • Good boy, remember to bring you dollars and a knife on one of the pockets in case you’re robbed.

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Fuck You Yankee Blue Jeans!! BERSERKER!!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            SMELL MAH BUTTHOLE!!!

          • I have too much smelling the sweat of 60 people on a bus in a 36ºC afternoon 😛

          • KJM, Shake Zula
          • I literally rained for the last 36 hours. Nuts

          • Protect yourself, MilKJMshake!

          • KJM, Shake Zula

            Easy enough since I’m not going anywhere until the storm passes.

          • Imagine this: cargo shorts UNDERNEATH overalls… Styling and profiling!

          • Based Potoo

            You have two pairs of uggs?

          • What are uggs?

          • Based Potoo

            They’re like pugs, but without the p and with an extra g.

          • Then no.

          • *kills myself*

          • “Oh baby, I am so comfortable in my designer pants and long sleeve shirt… I can barely tell how cold I am with all this fucking snow on the ground. God do I love Ugg’s! ”

            -No One Ever

          • Those Uggs won Tawmmy Brady a championship.

          • Ahhhh I didn’t even know that was him.

            +1 culture point to me

          • Give me some culture points.

            What are you all mumbling about Ugg?

          • Ugg is a type of boot that women (predominately) wear. They were quite “fashionable” a few years back.

          • Nothing screams “I am a grown-ass man who likes to do manly things” like Uggs do. Whether you are felling trees, building a rock dam, or just being a hard-ass – Ugg has the boot for you.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Nothing objectively, I was just making a note about their trendiness.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Well, this picture is probably over ten years ago. So, there’s that.

          • I’m pretty sure that was during his substance issues too.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah.

          • Pretty much me.

          • Guacamole Jim

            He’s got no muscle definition, because he never works out his core.

            jujujujujujujujujujuju

          • jijijijijijijijiji

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I’d love to smell her asshole.

          • Were you one of those kids in school that would shit your pants for attention?

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            No, that’s fucking gross. I was just commenting on how attractive she is. Always thought she was cute.

          • Based Potoo

            I was the kid that put shit in other people’s pants.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Now we’re talking. Shit yourself, but blame it on someone else. I like that.

          • Waynecro

            Heh.

      • I like that the most trendy of the 2nd wave black metal band say no to trends. Cool dudes.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Well, it was never meant to be a trend. So it goes……

          • I always felt that it was inevitable that they were trendy due all the parafernalia behind. I mean Mayhem.

            I know that Euronymous wasn’t the only member of Mayhem, but he clearly helped and influenced heavily in what they would become and how the Norwegian scene developed.

            All the traits and the characteristics of the black metal scene of Norway were going to end as a ‘trend’ in one way or another. And in the Mayhem camp they exploited very well to gain more attention. They were very young and excited at the time with what happened in those years, and I feel Euronymous was partly responsible for that.

            Helvete store, the corpse paint, the Dawn of the Black Hearts EP, all that ‘poser vs. true’ childish fight, the church arsons… Euronymous knew how to sell “ideals” and common traits of “how the scene should be”. All the zines interviews I’ve read of him he had that ‘active language’ in which he argumented and gave commands of how things should be on his scene.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, I’d say you nailed that one Link.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Were they ever trying to be?

      • 365chaosriddendays

        October, ah, so cold and dark, time for some good old evil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8VIhIIq-kk

        • Always!

        • Maik Beninton™

          Mayhem, I always tell myself to check out these guys but I always forget to.

          • Maik Beninton™

            Was their last album good?

          • 365chaosriddendays

            Indeed, you wise son of darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85ielup_aPQ

          • 365chaosriddendays

            The riffs are worth your time, no jokes.

          • Maik Beninton™

            I can tell.

          • 365chaosriddendays

            Here’s a song from their latest offering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d7cr-zdm1Y

          • Max

            Unless you’ve already dove in, here’s my advice:

            Start with Deathcrush. You’ll probably be underwhelmed by it because it is very, very dated. Neither the playing, production nor songwriting is especially spectacular. But keep listening to it anyway, enough to where you’re familiar with all the songs. Like, half-a-dozen listens of paying full attention.

            Then, move onto Live in Leipzig. Many of the songs in its set-list are the same as on Deathcrush. But you should notice that there has been a very distinct transition in what the band does even when playing those same songs. And if you like that transition, then Mayhem is the band for you.

            After that, THEN go onto De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Not before, which is the mistake people usually make.

          • If you want to get even more dated and harsher. Start with Pure Fucking Armageddon.

          • Max

            Perhaps, but my advice is based on the premise that you need two recordings where, despite all the much-trumpeted “rawness”, they’re actually quite coherent in terms of being able to tell what the band is doing at all times. Deathcrush and …Leipzig are it.

          • Deathcrush rules, Leipzig rules, and De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas rules. That’s my insight. Listen to em all.

          • Max

            Won’t argue with the insight. But somebody first getting into Mayhem is always a very delicate undertaking. A lot of people just don’t get Mayhem. They are certainly the most acquired taste out of all my favourite bands, a taste which many simply never acquire. We need to play this right if we’re to convert another to the cause. (Not that my way IS the right way necessarily; but it worked for me.)

          • I see where you are getting at dude.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Amen. The Sex Pistols are not punk though. They’re the Punk Monkees.

      • Max

        Saying the Sex Pistols aren’t punk is like saying Chuck Berry isn’t rock’n’roll.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          They were invented by a businessman to capitalize on that trend. I hate them. They’re a bunch of pretenders who became kings for no reason.

    • Based Potoo

      So I’m fun now? Goddammit! VITTUSAATANA!

      • ME GORAK B.C.™

        NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  • I always thought Horror Punk started with Misfits and died with Danzig man boobs.

    This is interesting. Also, props for reminding me of the All Hallow’s Eve EP from AFI, one of my favorite punk records ever.

    So fun! I like punk and I’m an anarcho-half-elf, so I just put my spoopy skull make-up, my crusty pants and I will get my mohawk.

    • Adam Cigarroa

      fuck all this bullshit

  • Boss the Ross

    Though more on the psychobilly side of the punk spectrum, Nekromantix is a fun horror inspired band
    https://youtu.be/4BM_WDH_GNo

    • I’m jamming Zombie Ghost Train.

    • There is (or used to be), a psychobilly band in Austin called The Flametrick Subs. It was kinda rad – they had an upright bass player who didn’t have a left hand so he played with his stump. Also strippers in cheerleader costumes with “666” written across. Not really my scene but a lot of fun to watch.

      • Vote for Jeb

        How do you feel about Hank Williams III? I don’t have much exposure to psychobilly.

        • ME GORAK B.C.™

          ASSJACK ROCKS!!!!!!

        • I’ve never really given him a shot so I’m not sure where to start.

          • ME GORAK B.C.™
          • Why did he sing into a can when recording his vocals?

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            CANS MADE OV METAL, SO MAKE VOX MORE METAL!!!!

          • This IS pretty rockin’!

          • ME GORAK B.C.™

            GORAK EVEN LIKE SOME OV HIS COUNTRY!!!!!

      • Boss the Ross

        I’ll have to try and find some of their stuff, Texas had me sold, to make it better you mention a stump and upright bass, and you top it off with demonic cheerleaders.

  • Vote for Jeb

    Great article. I know Misfits and Samhain, but the rest of these are new to me.

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    I saw Samhain in early 1986, only time I’ve ever seen anything Misfits related.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Nice!

  • KJM, Shake Zula

    Psychobilly/Horror Rock from the 1950s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj5B9EVrovM

  • Guppusmaximus

    Tiger Army’s first & second albums were kinda horror-like. Even if not all the lyrics were relevant to the theme, the music had a darkness to it then they got all homogenized.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdETVQI6ggU&list=PL3AF4141642B9397D

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • KJM, Shake Zula
  • The guys in Blitzkid really can sing, 365, I’m keeping that name too.

    #RottenThumbsUp

  • Stanley

    King Kurt always made me smile. Especially this track. “Oooh. Rawr”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib8kUMT77Xo

  • JWEG

    Speaking of Misfits (sort of):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ5V1UwFSkg

  • Old Man Doom

    Zombie Ghost Train is fucking great. I’ve ripped off- I mean, listened to a bunch of their riffs…

  • Fart Porn

    Ummm Cancerslug? Tales of a Butcher is probably the best thing they’ve done.

  • Waynecro

    I’ve been on a pretty big Misfits kick lately. I probably listened to “The Haunting” from American Psycho 100 times the other day. I actually like Graves-era Misfits the most (I like all of Michale Graves’ music–listen to Vagabond and Wanderer). Danzig got more metal after he left the Misfits, and the Misfits got more metal after Danzig left (Famous Monsters is a borderline metal album, albeit very, very simple metal).