Saying The Misfits didn’t invent horror punk is like saying The Beatles* didn’t invent rock and roll. It’s a factual statement, one that elicits a “no, duh” from the crowd but still, when you think of horror punk – POW! The Misfits.
*or, fuck. I don’t know. Whoever.
In fact, Punk and Horror have go hand in hand like whoever sang “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Here are a few examples to interject into your playlist this Halloween season.
The Ramones, “Chainsaw”
On the first Ramones album, you have this song about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. As best said by Ari Lehman during his interview with Dr. Gangrene, there was a time when being into horror wasn’t a socially acceptable thing. It still might not be, but it’s gotten better for the freaks and geeks in this world. There was a time where being an outsider meant horror movies, punk rock and possibly sniffing glue.
I always liked this song, mainly because the sound of the first Ramones record was so primitive. It wasn’t expertly mastered but I think this might have been what the mind of a kid growing up in that time might sound like. Or something. It’s a fun song and it’s about Leatherface. What’s not to love?
The Freeze, “So Long Ago”
Most noted for being on the THIS IS BOSTON, NOT L.A. comp, The Freeze are an underrated band from Boston’s hardcore days. Lead singer Cliff Hanger’s voice is a distinctive whine much like a chainsaw that cuts through the distortion of the guitars. With biting lyrics and a really great music arrangement, The Freeze put out some great records. Pick up the Land of the Lost/Rabid Reaction CD release that collects the two vinyl releases. You’ll find ths song, which was the very first song on 6’+. Instead of having a song from The Misfits or Nekromantix, I kind of wanted to have something off the beaten path, just to establish the small niche that the podcast would occupy.
SNFU, “Bodies in the Wall”
One of my favorite bands is SNFU. I got into punk later in my life. When I should have had a skateboard and a copy of ‘If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish,’ I was listening to Frank Zappa and not much else. Such is life. I remember seeing this abbreviation while searching the used CD store in my hometown but never buying until I moved away. SNFU is a band I probably won’t ever see live, which is a shame since the documentary about them said they had one of the greatest live performances around. Canada produced a lot of great punk bands and SNFU is no exception. The never had a certain bent to their songs, which allowed them to sing about everything. On their first album, ‘And No One Wanted To Play,’ you can find this song about a haunted house.
SNFU, “Where’s My Legs”
You can also add “Beautiful, Unlike You and I,” “Visiting The Bad Again,” “Lovely Little Frankenstein,” “Gravedigger,” “The Devil’s Voice,” “The X-Creep” “The Electric Chair” and others to your playlist. This song involves mad science, murder and zombies. I think it’s perfect.
There are other songs from non-horror artists that I can’t think of. If you know them, leave a comment.