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Mixtape #5 – horrorpunk and psychobilly

Back in the day I would make at least one mix tape per week. Minimum! I loved trying if it would be a better listen if I changed the order of songs a bit. Exchanging tapes with friends was a good way to hear new music and you did want your tape to sound good, didn’t you? And then I bought myself a portable CD player. Making a tape lost most of it’s fun at that very moment. I made a couple of CDr’s to play in the car a couple of years later, but it just wasn’t the same. Well, for old times sake, here’s a (digital…) mixtape that will introduce you to the wonderful world of horrorpunk and psychobilly!

The Misfits – Saturday night   
Where else to start a horrorpunk thing than the Misfits? I love both the Danzig and the Graves era (and have not yet decided if I really like the Only thing that’s going on now). When it comes to which of the two I like most it must be the albums with Graves singing. Those albums get a lot of playtime around here. With plenty of great songs to choose from I go for the ballad-type. I love horrorpunk ballads, and Saturday night is among the best.

The Crimson ghosts – Body bag  
I consider the Misfits the godfathers of horrorpunk. And in my opinion there are three bands that are ready to take over. First one is the Crimson ghosts. After releasing three brilliant albums they came up with a split EP with Die monster die. One of the two songs was a teaser for their upcoming fourth album. It was this song (which was also featured on that fourth album, but I prefer this version). It was a little bit different from what I was used to from this band, but oh so catchy. And now I have a split EP with a two brilliant songs and hear news of a fifth album coming soon. Looking forward to that!

The Other – Skeletons in my closet 
The second band that I consider one of the best horrorpunk bands out there is, just like the Crimson ghosts, from Germany. They started out as a Misfits clone but by adding more and more metal to their sound they created a niche for themselves. Skeletons in my closet is of their last album The devils you know that is again catchy as hell. While their fourth album New blood was a tad bit too metal for me (and I’m a metalhead…) and got a bit one-dimensional.

Calabrese – The dead don’t rise
The third and last really, really great band in this genre is Calabrese. Rarely have I seen a band offer a more complete package than Calabrese. I got to know them when they just released their second album The traveling vampire show. I liked what I heard so I ordered both albums. Upon opening the envelop I received, the first things that fell out where little plastic spiders. But that’s not all. I put the albums in my CD-player and sat down with the booklet in my hands. Than I notice that the text around the copyright thing is a bit different from what I’m used too. It said things like “The subliminal messages on this recording may turn you into our mindless minion. Repeated listening recommended” or ” Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws and punishable by guillotine”. While I can understand this may look childish to some, this just made my day! Back to the music huh? Four albums, each as brilliant as the other. The production of They call us death (third album) took me some time to get used to though.

Blitzkid – Mary and the storm   
Did I mention I just love those horrorpunk ballads? I did, didn’t I? Well, after three more upbeat tracks it’s time for the second ballad. I have some problems with Blitzkid. I own three albums, but don’t listen to ‘m that much. It’s hard to pinpoint why that is. Perhaps it’s because there’s just too many songs that are really not that special. Mary and the storm is special. It’s, I think, Blitzkid at their absolute best! Enjoy!

Son of Sam – Into the night    
Son of Sam is something of an all-star ensemble with members from Danzig, Samhain and Tiger army. So far they have released two albums. The first one (Songs from the earth) featured AFI singer Davey Havok on lead vocals. They delivered a good, but not that special album. After seven years finally they came up with a follow up. I was curious to hear what they came up with, but my hopes weren’t that high as I heard they changed singer and I never heard about that new guy. Was I wrong… Into the night blows Songs from the earth out of the water. The new singers voice perfectly fits the music of Son of Sam. Now, it has already been five years since Into the night. Where’s the third album?

Zombeast – Flesh eaters     
Next song is Flesh eaters by Zombeast. Most horrorpunk bands I know are heavily influenced by the Misfits fronted by Graves. Zombeast is a bit different as you can hear Danzig influences galore here. Unfortunately this band made only one album, but it’s a killer album for sure!

Nim Vind – Like a guillotine  
On with the bands that include slightly different influences from what you expect in the genre. Nim vind is offering horrorpunk with more pop influences. On their first album Fashion of fear this works out surprisingly well. Like a guillotine is, in my opinion, the song where this mixture works out best.

1476 – Anno domini  
I read somewhere 1476 do not consider themselves a horrorpunk band (they call their music Hermetic Deth Rock, whatever that is…). But if it looks like it, smells like it and sounds like it, it is most probably horrorpunk. 1476 bring a more acoustic sound on their album (although I didn’t pick one of those songs for this mixtape) and even released a fully acoustic EP.

The Rosedales – Cemetary sock hop
Now this is what I like most about horrorpunk: 50’s rock n roll influences. The Rosedales bring those in tons. Especially on their first album Raise your spirits. Their second album Once upon a season slows down a bit, which I’m not that much a fan of.

The epidemic – B movie baby  
Speaking of 50’s influences…. This is my favorite track of the Epidemic. Their album Quarantine days is a bit of an uneven affair, with a couple of hits like B movie baby, and a couple of songs that are really not that good.

Rezurex – Devil woman from outer space 
But… If you, like me, like those old school rock n roll influences and horrorpunk, psychobilly is what you might want to check out. Let’s start with Rezurex. All the B-movie imagery is there. I just love this song.

Zombie ghost train – Graveyard queen  
More B movie imagery please! In my opinion this is by far the best track of Zombie ghost train. If I hear this song on my headphones, I can’t help but to sing along. I sincerely apologize to humanity for that…

The creepshow – Cherry hill
I checked this band out because of the Misfits cover they had on myspace. After listening to the other tracks they had there I just had to buy their album (their debut Sell your soul was only just released at the time). Even though they have released three albums to date, this song from Sell your soul remains my favorite.

Tiger army – Afterworld  
If you talk about psychobilly Tiger army should be included (others will argue I should include the Meteors, but to be honest… I don’t really like their sound). Their later albums tend to drift a bit away from the psychobilly sound, but are still highly enjoyable.

This is still only the tip of the iceberg and I could go on and on and on, but (for now…) I’ll leave at this.

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