For alcoholics and professional party people, New Years Eve is most certainly amateur night. Which is to say, all the squares, from here to there, are hitting the bottle hard, and think they're Elvis Presley.
Well, Halloween is the same way, especially if you're a vampire, mummy, zombie, demon, devil, or slutty Ghostbuster. It's the one time a year when being a freak is cool, which is decidedly not cool when you are dedicated to the cause of freakin' 365, 24/7, 420, 69.
You can bet your candy bucket that this October 31, typically humdrum men and women across the world will be dressing up like cats and performing sets of Ramones covers in the name of All Hallows' Eve. And we'll be standing in the corner, huffing melted candy corn, and snickering derisively. Whatta bunch of poseurs!
We here at Crossfade only respect unceasing dedication to freakiness. So check the cut for our top ten musical acts that keep the pumpkins poppin' all year 'round. And remember, it ain't trickin' if you're Trick-or-Treatin'.
See also: Miami's Halloween 2013 Party Guide
We could not ignore the essential stadium rock 'n' roll extravaganza because Gene Simmons really did go the extra mile with that whole long-tongue, fake-blood bit, and who can deny the goddamn pyrotechnics? Balls of fire will get you far with Crossfade. However, KISS were not really "scary" on the whole, were they? In fact, on closer inspection, the whole three-ring circus was more an extension of glam rock and arena rock decadence than anything having to do with the supernatural, the occult, the spooky, and so on.
9. The Residents
This synth-punk pack of high-minded low-life weirdos -- think Devo's cousin who got into Philip K. Dick -- were not exactly scary either. But their unique otherworldly psychedelia-meets-science-fiction aesthetic tickles our uncanny bone just right.
Sorry to go from 0 to 90 like that. But this is a Halloween list. And Slipknot is fucking terrifying. These honks are the type to run around the neighborhood smashing jack-o-lanterns, egging the homes of notable neighbors, and shanking small children for their treats. What a goddamn nightmare.
7. Marilyn Manson
Manson is like Slipknot if they had good taste. Less cannibal cooks in the kitchen definitely helps. Of course, Brian Warner is but a midget on the shoulder of many rock 'n' roll frontmen (Cooper, Bowie, Pop). Yet there's no denying that from The Spooky Kids onward, Marilyn Manson has always forged a unique vision of big-tent showmanship that consistently embraces the grotesque and the surreal. Plus, he talk real nice.
Does any band better exemplify the anarchic anything-fucking-goes sugar high of Halloween than that almighty band of intergalactic scumdogs known as GWAR? Their live show includes torrential downpours of fake blood and semen. And if you're lucky, maybe you'll catch them on a tour when they've got that monster that eats fans.
5. Rob Zombie
GWAR frontman and space pirate, Oderus Urungus, will probably balk at his band being outranked by former White Zombie leader, Rob Zombie. But our typing fingers are tied. This is not a list about quality. If it were, GWAR would be the only band on it. This is a list about Halloween-icity. And there is no doubt that with his Cabaret of Dr. Caligari b/w crust-raver aesthetic, and his soft-core porn horror filmography, that Rob Zombie is Halloweenier.
4. The Misfits
OK, so, the Misfits are like Vincent Price to Marilyn Manson's The Ring. Can you imagine a rendition of "Halloween" sung by Vincent Price? Danzig and fiends have always done an excellent/ridiculous job of celebrating the camp and crude irreverence of the local goths on Mischief Night.
3. Alice Cooper
Over the course of his long career, Alice Cooper has worn many hats. But the cap which has earned him the most acclaim, and inspired his most classic albums, is that of the boogie man. Sure, Ozzy was deranged and Sabbath as a whole successfully signified Evil, with a capital E. But Cooper introduced big-scale theatrics -- distinct from the theme-park parade of a KISS live show -- that also injected popular music with a fresh appreciation for things that go bump in the night.
2. Screamin' Jay Hawkins
There is no doubt the quintessential blues witch doctor retains more than a shred of influence from black face and other minstrel traditions. However, Hawkins embraced the role with such gusto that (despite its sketchy racial overtones) you just can't deny the man's flair, showmanship, and ability to conjure very bad vibes in a very good way
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. The Mummies
The average Mummy gets a pretty raw deal. They are constantly getting grave robbed and seem to move at a maximum speed of "Slow as Molasses." The Mummies, however, don't take no shit. Just watch the above video. These are the kinda Mummies that don't just lay back in their gold casket and let you unsettle their afterlife. No, before the Mummies are done with ya, they'll have drunk you under the table, lit the table on fire, and made out with your little sister.