January 27, 2020

Vincent October – Monster A Go-Go: Transylvania Mania – Goblinhaus Records

By Kristi Kates | Oct. 21, 2017

Who knew there was actually a music genre called ghoul-rock? Halloween aficionados, that’s who. Vincent October — a hybrid of Vincent Price and garage-punkers The Misfits — helms this creepy collection of cacophony, from the spine-chilling complex instrumentals “Haunted Castle” and “Vampyr” to more punk-rock numbers like “Catacomb,” “Transylvania,” “Into the Nite,” and the left-field inclusion of California surf guitar on the compellingly catchy “Surf Bat.” ***

Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Halloween! – Sony Legacy
The Now collections are essentially the easiest way possible to snag a party mixtape, and this set is perfect to BOOm out of your speakers on All Hallow’s Eve. The opening track, John Carpenter’s “Main Title Theme” from 1978 slasher film Halloween perfectly sets the tone, with more scary sounds following in rapid succession, including tunes by Aussie favorites INXS (“Devil Inside”), ska outfit The Specials (“Ghost Town”), ’80s popsters Oingo Boingo (“Dead Man’s Party”), and The Fresh Prince’s classic “A Nightmare on My Street.” ***

Misfits – Friday the 13th – Misfits Records

Speaking of the aforementioned Misfits, you can add this one to your Halloween playlist, and even though it’s not a themed album, it’ll fit right in to the festivities. Primarily scare-punk with a little kitsch, a little ’80s, and a lot garage, the band definitely knows how to wrap a solid hook around a warped guitar riff, and it does that best here on tracks like “Mad Monster Party” and “Laser Eye.” Don’t go in expecting great vocals, and you’ll have fun with this outfit’s energy. ** ½

Various Artists – Halloween Cocktail Party – Somerset
With Janice Hagan behind the microphone, this jazz ensemble is perfectly poised to haunt your October gathering with a quirky collection of Halloween-themed songs performed in a swanky, spooky style reminiscent of the old Rat Pack days. Hagan’s vocals are rooted in lounge music, but her versions of tunes like “That Old Black Magic,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Monster Mash” steer clear of most of their potential cheesiness. You also get a bonus 20-minute track of sound effects at the end. ** ½



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