HALLOWEEN NOISE PATTONS

GREETINGS, schlock pickers. Ready for some deranged voicework this All Hallows’ Eve? Good.

We’ve said it before but if Melvins are Halloween’s house band then super-colluder Mike Patton is surely one of its top MCs. From loverboy whispers and honeyed sweeteners to lullaby daymares, carnival histrionics and pure fucking gibberish, he does it all – and then some. Never more than a beat away from innocence or insanity, it’s this wanton skittery that makes him the rock-vocal equivalent of cinema’s most amoral psychos: the ones who do bad shit just because.

So, we’re digging the grave (yes) of his more rock-heavy oeuvre. If you’re short of time, hit When Good Dogs Do Bad Things first and fill the gaps later. 11 tracks, audio only, no videos except for our short sharp opening shot of… Will Smith? Too right. Patton is the voice of his I Am Legend post-human nemesis.

SURPRISE! YOU’RE DEAD!
Could have chosen Zombie Eaters for the title alone, but no. For those of us snagged into FNM’s world by We Care A Lot, The Real Thing was our first exposure to the new guy and it takes just four tracks for him to go voco-loco on our No Faith ears. The start of a new era.

GI JOE
Boneyard beats in a street-smart bed. Non-maniacal menace. All in day’s work for a Melvins/Patton/Ipecac project.

CHURCH OF THE MOTHERFUCKERS
It’d be easy to pick the Bauhaus cover from the Dead Cross debut but Bela Lugosi’s Dead is all over Halloween anyway, so let’s gather for a more visceral midnight mass instead.

DER GOLEM
A flawless, monstrous body of classic horror themes skewered and reassembled with grotesque results, The Director’s Cut is one of those albums that’s end-to-end fright-night perfect. It’s why their depraved Omen made our first playlist five years ago because it’s bound for the asylum on a brakeless hell-cart. Anything from this record could make the cut and this year, it’s Der Golem. Slow and Slayer heav-eee with Patton escalating the madness.

WAR SONG
Pace breaker, mood changer, heavy atmos spirited up from the rituals and songs of the Native Americans, Tomahawk style.

SUCKER
Light relief with this voyeuristic hip-pop project, but it still fits the vibe. Check the seductive call-and-response voicework, catchy as balls.

WHEN GOOD DOGS DO BAD THINGS
As if throwing your Salem’s Lot in with Slayer and Melvins wasn’t OTT enough, Patton threw his vocal pyros at this four-track EP back in 2002. Precision mathprogmentalism at its most possessed, Good Dogs is a frenzied attack whose first two minutes leave you savaged. After that, the lull a-bye-bye and slasher false end finale. Mike Patton’s finest six minutes? Maybe. Just load the EP and lose your senses in this one-off detonation of demented genius.

WHEN THE STARS BEGIN TO FALL
Tomahawk goes sneakabout and throws in some theramin? Perfect. Duane Denison’s chords muster the tension, Patton blows and soars.

INVOCATION
Bacteria Cult is a better-named Kaada Patton record, but Romances gives us Invocation, a genteel creep that’s 60s sound-effect spectral and almost the ghost side of Fantomas without the bloody metallic body parts.

MALPRACTICE
A twisted tale of christknowswhat, under-the-knife molestation? Jagged riffage and a symphonic pile-up that’s borderline cacophonous, Malpractice is another of Patton’s most out-there Faith No More moments. APPLAUSE??? Done like a slain beast.

THE HOLY FILAMENT
It’s not their most avant or celebrated album I guess Disco Volante is but California packs some of Mr Bungle’s most potent moments and the score-ish Holy Filament is a mellow supernatural sliver of an ending to this year’s playlist. The first half sweats tension, the second half sweeps a falsetto from the afterlife.

Happy listening? We didn’t even mention perhaps THE most fitting Patton track of all, and that’s because it’s an album: Delirium Cordia by Fantomas (who else?). A score of fragments and wide-open spaces means that between the bursts of Patton garble, Lombardo assault, ghostly ambience and white noise, your mind has much room to roam about in – and if you’ve flicked the album’s artwork, those pristine surgery scenes (dislodged eyeball, intestinal wash) make you feel a wee bit queasy. And there’s no escape, because it’s a 75-minute track. You can’t skip anything. Trapped, imprisoned and captured till you hit the 20-minute vinyl run-out groove at the end. Music for voluntary confinement … keep the lights off if you dare.

For a less sombre listen with some mildly retro metal videos, check Hairy Halloween I and II from the last couple of years, or dabble in the gothic splendour of the late Saint Pete of Steele and Type O’s Sabbath slowdown. PUMPKINS OUT, over.

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.

JOE SATRIANI: Big Bad Moon

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.

JUDAS PRIEST: Turbo Lover

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?

ALICE COOPER: Killers

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…

SMASHING PUMPKINS: Ava Adore

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.

MELVINS/TOOL: Divorced

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: