After sex and drugs, rock 'n' roll is often paired with scary.
Ever since the darkly psychedelic burnout at the end of the '60s (epitomized by Iggy Pop's amphetamine-inspired caterwauling and Lou Reed's doom-y bad trip bummer jamming), there have been myriad genres obsessed with death, the occult, paranormal activity, supernatural occurrences, and, yes, Satan. Heavy metal, punk, rockabilly, even ska-core all have their respective boogeymen, including Black Sabbath, The Misfits, The Cramps, and Mephiskapheles.
But very often, the band that's trying the hardest to sell you on its spookiness is about as frightening as a kitten in the bath. After the jump, we list Crossfade's top five rock and roll boogeymen that try to be scary but, uh, aren't.
Generally speaking, aggro-goth Germans playing industrial is actually pretty frightening. But doesn't the spooky air fly right out of the Jack-O-Lantern balloon when you figure in the band's American demographic? While Beluga-size circumference JNCOs, your standard teenaged parent-hating angst, and full-body acne are all certainly something, we're certain that something isn't scary.
If Midwestern mongoloid metal band Slipknot was truly scary, they would have known better than to sit down for an interview with Nardwuar The Human Serviette, who, in under five minutes, reduces the band to bobos in Disney Land character breakfast costumes.
3. Rob Zombie
The former White Zombie frontman and solo artist is an obvious non-scare based on his name alone. Also, we're too busy imagining what he smells like (a wet dog? a shag carpet soaked in bongwater?) to bother being afraid.
Witch House progenitors Salem might have retained a lil darkness if they would have kept their band a studio project. But, no. They just had to perform at the the fucking Levi's Fader Fort (oooo, witchy!) in the middle of the goddam day. The above video is so impressively sloppy, not spooky and uneventful that the members of Salem should be straight up banned from Halloween this year.
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1. Charles Manson
Despite being the only person on this list to have actually murdered anybody, Charles Manson nails the number one spot on our countdown for playing total mambsy pambsy flower power coffee shop jams. Dude may have been obsessively dropping the needle on "Helter Skelter" but this shit sounds like Van Morrison. And no, we don't mean Astral Weeks.