Music: Alternative Rock Halloween!

Every year when Halloween rolls around, I have a small urge to listen to Halloween music. However, I feel that there isn’t a large market in Alternative Rock Halloween music; sure you can listen to your more horror rock bands like The Misfits or Black Sabbath, but what about the musical wusses? Can I get a scary John Mayer album? Probably not, but I have decided to scan through my collection of music and pick out random songs which I think may or may not work out nicely on some sort of Halloween soundtrack. I tried to have a little fun with the list, so I tried to avoid some obvious choices; but at the same time I still wound up picking obvious choices.



Here are some songs I came up with:

AC/DC – “If you want blood (You’ve Got It)”: OK, obvious choice; but if you want to kick off a rocking Halloween, there’s no better way than with this Bon Scott era classic. It’s got all the rock you could possibly want and oh… if you want blood… YOU’VE GOT IT!

Bush – “Head Of Ghosts”: Bush had a 4th album!? Who knew!? This track delivers a strong stadium rock sound and strong sing-along type chorus where Gavin Rossdale’s voice does what it always does. I’m not quite sure what this song is even about, but Bush was great at delivering strange ambient like noises within their hugely distorted songs (thanks to lead guitarist Nigel Pulsford) which helps give this song, which mentions ghosts AND bones, just enough edge to almost be kinda Halloweenish… maybe.

Cake – “Pentagram”: This song sure doesn’t rock, in fact it’s incredibly folk-ey.  Now I probably wouldn’t play this near the start of any sort of Halloween gathering nor would I have this playing when trick-or-treaters arrive at your residence; but this more forgotten track from Cake’s incredible debut album will have you creepily wanting to dance to a twisted love tale involving sacrificial rituals. I will never shake the imagery placed by lyrics like ‘Your naked body shimmers in the night/dancing and chanting in a sacrificial rite/ your feet are dried from the ashes of dead babies’.

Chevelle – “Highland’s Apparition”: A new track off of the latest Chevelle album. Chevelle seems to be their creepiest when it’s just an acoustic guitar and their lead singer, and this case is no exception. A mellow song for sure, but something tells me if someone walked into your house when the lights were off and you were rocking back and forth in a chair while this song playing; they might consider leaving.

Dead Kennedys – “I Kill Children”: I don’t think I really have to explain anything about this song. Jello Biafra’s voice alone is enough to give anyone the willies, now mix it into an upbeat punk rock song about killing children and now you’ve got yourself some creeped out guests.

Foo Fighters – “Stacked Actors”: Another song where I couldn’t tell you what it’s about, but it’s the delivery of this opening Foo track that lands it on this list. The deep, distorted, buzzing guitars with the heavy drum beat driving the entire song mixed with Dave Grohl snarling about ‘stacked dead actors stacked to the rafters’ combines for a perfect Halloween mixture.

Franz Ferdinand – “Evil and a Heathen”: Halloween is a celebration. No band understands celebration quite like Franz Ferdinand. What better way to celebrate this year’s sinister holiday than with a dance rock song celebrating how you’re evil AND a heathen? What a combination!

Futureheads – “He Knows”: The Futureheads will never be considered scary, but this just might be the poppiest song you’ve ever heard about a serial killer. That alone creeps me out.

The Hives – “Abra Cadaver”: Another great song for a rockin’ Halloween party. The opening track to the Hives’ Tyrannosaurus Hives album is pure Hives rock. It’s short, it’s snotty, and maybe it’s not actually a horror song; but you can’t deny a line like “They tried to stick a dead body inside of me!”

Ludo – “Love Me Dead”: A true Halloween love song, filled with Dr. Jekyll/Hyde-like lyrics about a tortured romance; this one’s for the kids.

Modest Mouse – “Bury Me With It”: Any excuse to listen to this song is worth it. It’s a stretch, but imagery of being buried alive works for me.

She Wants Revenge – “Tear You Apart”: The dark electronic atmosphere of this song can add the necessary ambiance to any Halloween evening. Another song you’d want to have a nice romantic dance to… just don’t whisper in their ear “I’ll fucking tear you apart”.

Shiny Toy Guns – “Ghost Town”: I think this music video sucks. Irrelevant, sure, but it needed to be said. This song has just about everything I would want from a Halloween themed alternative rock song. A creepy synthesizer opening and then busting into straight on power chord rock. Sure it breaks into a dance-like verse, but again, this is for the kids; kids want to dance. The rocking chorus starting off with lines like “We’re dead in this ghost town!” make for a perfect Halloween rocker.

Stone Temple Pilots – “Dead and Bloated”: Too obvious, I know; but how could I resist. This is about as creepy as the Stone Temple Pilots ever got and Scott Weiland steals the show with the opening chorus. A great sing-along rock song about being… dead and bloated.


Maybe not the greatest list ever created by man, but you get what you pay for. Feel free to suggest any of ideas you might have for great alternative songs which can be viewed from a Halloween angle.

Happy Halloween!


~ by axknel on October 27, 2009.

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