Hairy Halloween II

A pumpkin-grin welcome to anyone who’s there, and this year’s handful of Halloweeny hitters is a straight follow-up to last year: another blast of old-school rock tracks, videos and vibes that fit the ‘ween thing, and like all slasher sequels, it’s probably not as good as the one before…

…OR IS IT??? Wait for the dark.


What do you want from a Halloween vid? A dark, deserted street? Check. Full-moon menace? Yep. Amplifier being kicked down the stairs so a guitarist can solo the frig out of it? Errrrrrr no, but why the hell not??? Enter Big Bad Moon. Not only is the mood right, but you get an electro-shock Satch hair-ender that’s undead-worthy (low budget special effects version). Killer tune, killer solos.

TOOL: Stinkfist

Less blitzy than Satriani, obvs, Stinkfist does anything but reek. Any number of Tool tunes could make a dark-side playlist, and this creepsome promo makes Tool a ‘ween shoe-in. Check the Stinkfist sand people, watch ’em peel.

MR BUNGLE: Quote Unquote

Odd weird. Sinister weird. Which is what you expect from Mr Bungle, right? Soundtrack to a death circus. With masks.


Sure, A Touch of Evil makes more sense on the surface, but we’re not going as deep as surface here – we’re going for the vibe, specifically the Terminator-as-argonaut retro stink flying off this hilariously shit video. Rocking tune, though.

DAVID BOWIE: Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)

A fair few Bowie tunes could land on a list like this, but if atmosphere and menace are on the menu instead of literal Scary Monsters, the predatory pre-Blackstar Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) jazz ensemble racks it up nice n’ noir.

VOIVOD: Astronomy Domine

Did anyone else find the Tribal Convictions video a bit creepy as a kid? No? OK, that’s embarrassing. Let’s have a disembodied Voivodian vocal in a flicker-flicker-flicker-bam Floyd cover with a video of a band on a rotating wheel instead. Better?


The creep factor in this version of Is It My Body has nothing to do with Alice stage props and effects – it’s pre-Nightmare, but Cooper was a theatrical master even when his props were nothing more than a shiny onesie, a shoe and a pink leotard. Classic. But this video for Killer (live) is a wee bit more showtime, shall we say. If the noose fits…


Graced with gothic electronica, alt-rock’s very own Uncle Fester goes full Nosferatu in the video – check the Corgan choreography for some pretty slick Nosfer moves you’ll wanna steal.

CHRIS MORRIS: Jam (intro to episode 2)

Not music, but there is dancing. Morris dancing. Subversive, woozy and warped at every twist, Jam fits right in with any horror sesh, and Morris’s taunt-and-haunt free-dance flail in the face of a failed suicide is wrong enough to be oh-so-very right.


If ever there was a Halloween house band, Melvins would surely be it. Tool could do visuals, but there are no visuals here – get the headphones, kill the lights and sink deep into a 15-minute pit of top-grade Toolvins.

AC/DC: Night Prowler

A rat runs down the alley, and a chill runs down your spine…can there be a better lyric to end on? Pure slasher, a Bon ace over a deadly, bluesy groove.

But you can’t really have a halloween sequel without a farcical false ending, so … a heroic big-hair resurrection it is – check the big-budget cheapness in this Elm Street cornball. Who were those guys, Freddie? Eh? Lynch axe still cuts it, mind.

THE END! Off now, Salem’s Lot beckons.

Other radio stuff to check:

Hairy Halloween

Last year we took in a few soundtracks and noir-funk jazz scores to make a break from any metallicus extremicus noise stuff. This year, we’re going for the retro metal sound: mostly classic bands from the late ’80s or thereabouts, a bit of a slasher vibe, a bit of ‘remember that?’ in 11 (yes) tracks. WARNING: hair metal is on this list, no apologies.

DOKKEN: Mr Scary

Big hair kick-off? Too right. George Lynch had one of THE guitar tones of the 80s, a tone that would sit on any commercial horror of the day (maybe that’s why they did Dream Warriors for Nightmare on Elm Street 3) but this heavy instrumental from Back for the Attack is a shock for anyone who missed it, thinking that Dokken were nowt but hair and teeth. Well, they ARE hair and teeth, but Mr Lynch’s Mr Scary is a scorching exception and a horror-themed must.

OZZY OSBOURNE: Suicide Solution (live version from Tribute)

Can there be a rock voice more suited to Halloween than Ozzy’s doleful projections? Doubtful. But this live version (can’t find it on youtube) does more than showcase Ozzy – as the album title says, it’s a Randy Rhoads gig and the Suicide Solution solo has enough stuttermoanandscreech to commune with the undead any time of the year.

MEGADETH: Go to Hell

Snarling sneering wavy Davy, so Mustainey. Lost on a Bill and Ted OST, Go to Hell makes the list because it’s not overplayed, it’s literally hellish and it’s got one of those thrash-sinister vids that captures the right atmos – low sophistication and max impact, just like the flicks we’ve already mentioned. Bit weird. Decent tune. Exhume.

JANE’S ADDICTION: Ted, Just Admit It

Right, we’ve had George Lynch and Dave Mustaine, but what connects them? Dave Navarro (yep) – they both appeared on Navarro’s guitar tutor videos online (well worth a look, ‘specially to see Dave N fail to master Dave M’s admittedly awesome spider-chord) – and so we might as well have a bit of Jane’s … might as well have Ted, Just Admit It. Detached and creepy and wrapped in Ted Bundy, it erupts as violently as the lyrics: art shocker. What a band.

CARCASS: Incarnated Solvent Abuse

Video. Black rubber. That’s all I’m saying, scared the shite outta ma younger self. Weirdly disturbing and low-budget effective, it’s a grindsome tempo shift with a guitar tone to die for. Or be suffocated by.

CELTIC FROST: Rex Irae (Requiem)

Haunting theatrics abound on 1987’s cold bold foray Into the Pandemonium, and none more than Rex Irae (Requiem) here as a half-dead sounding Tom G trades lines with afterlife siren Claudia-Maria Mokri over heavyweight orchestration. 

DANZIG: Soul on Fire

Evil Elvis, Fonzig, whatever he’s been called he’s definitely a singer with a fine bag o’ween pipes, and there’s enough demon, possession and Samhain refs for some proper rocking out on All Hallows’ Eve. Not spooky, but it’s Danzig, right? It just fits. Got the attitude. In fact, you might as well just play the whole album from Twist of Cain right through to Evil Thing. 

MOTORHEAD: Nightmare/The Dreamtime

The least-Motorhead track Motorhead ever did, except for the one that named the album that this track came from (1916). Semi-ambient, drumless, bassy, keyboardy and loaded with Lem-menace thanks to a fistfulla backwards masking (sign o’ the times). Golgotha, ace of spades, damn right.

METALLICA: The Small Hours

Check that opening. Tension? Ominosity? Double yes, that’s the soundtrack to Stalkerville Central and it’s backed by a predatory proto-grunge riff lurching outta the shadows of 1987. Still haven’t heard the original, mind.

MELVINS WITH JELLO BIAFRA: In Every Dream Home a Heartache

Hunter S Thompson said that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Melvins have been pro all their lives, but on Everybody Loves Sausages they went for Roxy Music at their creepiest and outcreeped it by letting Jello Biafra do the vocals. Not only does he sound uncannily like Bryan Ferry – true, hear it here – but, being Biafra, he ups the sinisterism without even trying. Oh, and it’s heavy as a bastard as well.

WHITESNAKE: Still of the Night

Go on, HAVE IT! Light relief with ace riffs. He hears the wolf howl (honey), sniffing around your door. Here’s the tune, but if you want the video for an old-time’s laff….

Not cool enough? Seriously? Then here’s a lawless screamer to bang a final nail in a hairsome Halloween playlist before you load up a classic late-night film… Prince of Darkness, anyone?



Halloween: sound tracks and lost highs



It started with a wolf, howlin’. Evil (Is Going On) was on the digitalwireless in all its electric-version glory as part of a ‘ween spesh, and it was soon followed by I Put a Spell On You. Classy sassy stuff (thanks Cerys). Got me thinking: instead of a bleak-o heavioso metallic horror soundtrack for halloween this year, why not go for some killer (yes!) atmos? The creep not the scream, the shadows not the gallows. Tension over bludgeon.

Henry Mancini.

Now, your man Cini might not be in thrall to demons and satan and Marshall stacks, but what is Shot in the Dark if not a tip-toed creepabout? Ditto The Pink Panther Theme and double ditto the perfectly titled Experiment in Terror, its sticky harpsichord adding enough gothic suspense for Fantomas to wind it through their avant mangle on The Director’s Cut (mentioned this album a couple o’ halloweens ago, insane and essential is what it is).

But if we’re on the prowl for a killer soundtrack that’s literal, we need a killer so let’s call on the guy who always gets the shit end of the stick – the big fella, the head-clean-off guy, the in-all-this-excitement guy Harry Callahan. Lalo Schifrin’s Dirty Harry seedy funkjazz score dwells in permashadow and night-time neon, and in No More Lies, Girl we even get a mention of halloween. It’s too jaunty a track for tonight though so for max creep you gotta go to Prologue/The Swimming Pool, Scorpio’s View, The Cross, Floodlights and School Bus (and you’ll not hear a filthier bass this side of November than Scorpio’s View and School Bus, promise).

From Dirty Harry we take a cinematic sidestep to Harry’s namesake …. Dirty Barry. Sounds dodgy already (makes me think of Pulp’s Seductive Barry, and Mark and Lard’s Fat Barry White), but it’s by the guy who’s almost got the Addams Family name, one Barry Adamson. Check Oedipus Schmoedipus and there it is, track six, but skip back a few and you land on Something Wicked This Way Comes.

See where we’re going now? Down the unfound road to a Lynch-ing with the nails of nine inches for bad company, aka Lost Highway, David Lynch’s unfathomable 1997 trip that’s tracked by as good a collection of goth-tinged electronic rock as you’re gonna get. Pulled together by Trent Reznor, it’s heavy on Angelo Badalamenti and B-Adamson scores ‘n haunts, but there’s axe as well as strings. The Perfect Drug is perfect NIN (menace plus hook plus total destruction plus ambience), Smashing Pumpkins get their pre-Adore electronic spook on with Eye, and David Bowie … well, he claims I’m Deranged from the never-bettered Outside.

Finally, for an axe-heavy non-Highway finale of monstrous bloody heft, dig up the bones of Another Body Murdered by Faith No More and Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E from Judgment Night soundtrack. Not a bunch of guys you’d want on your doorstep demanding sweeties. 

Happy helloweeeeeen ….

Paranoid and negative

Of all the seminal heavyweight scare-alls you could choose for a Halloween soundtrack, you’d be hard pushed to choose chillier than Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath from Black Sabbath – not just the slowest, most-ominous anti-groove put to tape at that point in heavy rock’s short history, but a track that’s got the imagery to match: the Hammer-horror dread that Ozzy conjures in your shitting-it mind and, of course, the spectral Presence on the album’s cover.

But despite all that, we’re not picking BS for a Halloween playlist, not this year. 2014 belongs to PARANOID.

I’ve never much liked it.

Easily the least essential of Iommi and co’s anthems, it stands supremely un-tall against Sabba-manna like Wheels of Confusion, Fairies Wear Boots, Hole in the Sky and the like. No-one, surely no-one, would pick Paranoid’s pop-metal bounce ahead of any of those.

But what if it was slower – like, a LOT slower?

Or blacker – like, none-more-Tap blacker?

Or deader – like, graveyard undeader?

Cue Type O Negative.

If ever a band embodied the Halloween aesthetic and staked it with wry gallows’ humour, Type O are it. Halloween in Heaven, Black No.1, Bloody Kisses and All Hallows Eve are literal enough links but really, any track of theirs from Bloody Kisses onwards that’s not thrash-fast is pretty much game – Suspended in Dusk, Everyone I Love is Dead, Haunted, The Profit of Doom, take your pick. You get the gist.

But it’s the realm of the cover version that pulls everything together today. The band have got form in this area, lending the Negative touch to Neil Young, the Beatles, Hendrix and – most perversely/brilliantly – to 70s harmony-pop smash Summer Breeze, dragging the Seals and Crofts/Isley Brothers classic from sunshine floater to a slow-low-lower hot sticky trudge.

And so it is with Paranoid, stuck on the end of the faux-live pisstake Origin of the Feces.

Hypnosis-slow, lavishly arranged and knowingly soaked in trademark vampiric goth, Brooklyn’s least celebrated give Sabbath’s 3-minute chugger a makeover so total and so Type O that they absolutely own it: seven luxuriant minutes of pure Para-satisfaction, copping it for the first time all over again.

Sneak a bit of Iron Man’s downward bender of a riff into the mid-section and you’ve not just got a top Sabbath tribute and a ‘ween classic for the rest of time.

You’ve got one of the best metal cover versions EVER.


*recorded in 1994, it’s 20 years cold!!!! Dig it out from post-94 issues of Origin of the Feces.

**for a few more soundtracks from the dark side, have a quick look at last year’s Halloween list


Aaah yes… Halloween, the most metal of yearly celebrations. What makes the playlist? Sabbath, Maiden, Misfits, Cradle of Filth?

I’ve got two favourites for All Hallows’ Eve but two ain’t exactly a playlist so let’s pad it out a bit first with a few other choice, possibly bloody, cuts. In no particular order:

APHEX TWIN – Come to Daddy. Even without the video of Aphex-faced hoodie thug manchilds, tower-block terror and TV-horrorthing screaming G-force hell in a pensioner’s face, this nail-hard track never sounds less than wholly possessed. Demonic electronica, anyone?

SUNN O))) – My Wall. Yeah, the creep kings of low frequency unsettle the vibe magnificently with this 25-minute oozer. You could pick from a tonne of SunnO))) tracks but My Wall has Julian Cope’s ritualistic spoken word giving it that extra resonance.

EXTREME – More Than Words. A shocker on every level.

SCOTT WALKER – anything from The Drift.

MELVINS – Goggles. A slo-mo dead-body DRAG of noise, screams and distortion straight out of a serial killer’s basement. Find it on Stag. Goggles is mixed by Alex Newport so that’s some extra heaviosity credentials right there.

 NINE INCH NAILS – Screaming Slave. A nauseating deconstruction  … could it be the S&M mutilation screams and violent industrial production? Yep, reckon so. Total assault.  Never EVER fall asleep to this, you’ll awake to a wide-eyed nightmare. Get it from the Fixed EP of Broken reworkings.

OK, top 2 time. In reverse order:

FANTOMAS – The Omen (Ave Satani). In a word, diabolical. Patton, Osborne, Lombardo and Dunn hit new peaks in mania with this dementedly OTT version of Jerrry Goldsmith’s classic score. Utterly inspired, check the Director’s Cut for more killer themes.

And finally …

TYPE O NEGATIVE – Suspended in Dusk. If ever a band was made for the year’s twilight, it’s Type O Negative and this track – all 8 and a half minutes of it – shows the Brooklyn crew at their slow, suspenseful, vampiric best. A dark highlight of the entire Type O back catalogue, Dusk was hidden away as a ‘previously too embarrassed to release’ bonus on Christian Woman. Funny bastards. RIP Pete Steele.