It’s been a while! I thought it would be a good idea to jump back in with a fresh playlist to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve. Below are 13 songs that remind me of Halloween. Granted some of them are metaphors and that isn’t lost on me, but I thought it’d be cool to include them because they have monsters in their title and their great songs. Check it out!
AFI – Halloween
Before Davey and the boys were making waves of MTV, they were a hardcore band. The All Hallow’s EP was part of their transition from traditional hardcore band to gothic mall emo poster boys. On that EP is this cover of The Misfit’s classic. The band is in full form making it a little faster and adding their own edge while keeping the essence of the original.
Local H – Wolf Like Me
The TV on the Radio original is one of my favorite songs of all time. I learned at karaoke a few months ago that it is difficult to replicate. Local H manages to maintain what make the song great while putting their own slight spin on it. While my only experience listening to the band was remembering them from that one song they had in the 90s and for some reason confusing them with the band Clutch, this cover has become one of my favorite covers of all time.
Pet Symmetry – Pet Sematary
The final cover of the playlist, the band Pet Symmetry is obviously a play on the song Pet Sematary. Consisting of members of the band Dowsing and Into It, Over It, the Chicago band makes a nice updated take on the Ramones’ classic. Super catchy and super fast, but the harmonies are nice little touch.
Direct Hit! – Werewolf Shame
This is my favorite song from the Wisconsin quartet. It’s fast, driving, and fun. The song is infectious and easy to sing along to. It’s the type of pop punk that I love without diverging too much on the boy band pop punk side of things.
Cranberries – Zombie
I used to always forget how much I love this song until I hear it again. Since lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s death early this year, it’s been hard to forget. It goes without saying her voice makes the song. I listened to a few covers of it and couldn’t vibe with it as much. There was something special about her voice and this song really captures that.
My Chemical Romance – Vampires Will Never Hurt You
I’d like to say I was cool and started listening to MCR when their Eyeball Records debut came out, but like most people it wasn’t until their second video for their big hit “I’m Not Okay” on their second album was all over MTV. When I went back and listened to their Geoff Rickey produced first album, I loved it. While I wouldn’t call this song my favorite on the album, it still rules.
M83 – Car Chase Terror!
I listened to M83 for the first time after the album Saturday=Youth came out. I liked it but not enough to dive further into the discography. Then a friend changed their myspace song to * off of Before the Dawn Heals Us and I became enamored worth the sound. I bought the album and listened to it all the way through on my Walkman (shut up I know I’m old). “Car Chase Terror” struck me the most. Its essentially a haunting score and the great acting by the voice actors puts you in the action. To flip a phrase from Ted Mosby, it’s beautifully haunting.
Kanye West – Monster
I’m not qualified to tell you which Kanye album is the best, but I’m going to say My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the one I go back to the most. Kanye goes all out and gets the most prominent features I’ve heard on a track since the 90s and Nicki Minaj destroys it. Say what you want about Nicki now, I really don’t care, but you can’t deny that she shows up some hall of famers.
Wavves – Demon to Lean On
My favorite thing about Wavves is how they’ve been able to evolve past their lo-fi sensation into a more produced sound and still keep their edge. So many bands that start off so raw feel neutered as they start getting better production. Wavves maintains the bratty punk energy that made them who they are and now they sound better!
Coheed and Cambria – Blood Red Summer
Claudio’s voice is on some other level, that goes without saying and while I get down to their more metal stuff, my favorite Coheed tracks are the ones that thread the line of pop rock. This song is no exception. My favorite thing about this song is how awkward the chorus sounds the first time you hear it and how you find yourself singing along anyway.
Tsunami Bomb – The Invasion From Within
Tsunami Bomb is the first female-fronted band I can remember that really made me geek out. Former singer Agent M had a cool moniker and a voice that took what I liked about Gwen Stefani’s voice in No Doubt and combined it with a little more edge. Invasion from Within isn’t my favorite Tsunami Bomb song but with that creepy organ intro, it’d be a crime not to include it on a Halloween playlist.
Cursive – Bloody Murderer
Everyone says Domestica is Cursive’s best album, but man The Ugly Organ comes pretty close. Greta Cohn’s cello translates amazing to the emo band’s sound and manages to add a sense of warmth and distress on a beat’s notice. This song follows the Pixies philosophy of soft loud soft loud and goes really loud for one of the most distressing outros I have ever heard.
Fela Kuti – Zombie
I took a class about African music and its influence on American music as an elective in college. Our professor, as many young professors at UT, was a little pretentious but I learned a lot from him. One day he played this song and danced to it in looked like something out of a made for tv teen movie about crumping. He was very self aware of how he looked and invited us to laugh at him, and boy did we laugh. He dropped his contrived coolness and had a blast making fun of himself, even if just for seven minutes. I fell in love with this song that day.