Halloween is the best holiday. The primary objective is to get trashed and also scare the shit out of everyone around you, two activities that are loads of fun on their own but just pure magic when you mix and match. Beats the hell out of Christmas, where you're expected to, like, subsist on the Gift of Giving while you wait on loved ones to understand you enough to buy you something you don't throw out in a week, and narrowly edges out Thanksgiving, which is lit for loosing the shackles of diet and decency and allowing you to eat whatever you like but secretly rather sadistic for the caveat of forcing you to do it in the company of extended family and in-laws. You're gonna party tonight, and you'd better do it in style. You take care of the costumes and decorations. We'll take care of the music. Below are 13 perfectly discomforting records to play at your Halloween shindig.
Three 6 Mafia - Mystic Stylez
The bloody, ominous debut album from the Memphis gore rap collective is not only one of the greatest artifacts of the horrorcore genre, but it’s also a touchstone for a younger generation of rap weirdos. Songs like “Now I’m High Pt. 3” pull off the impossible trick of making you want to party but also maybe die a little bit at the same time, which is the literal spirit of Halloween, innit?
Scientist - Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires
Jamaican dub legend Scientist’s pair of early 80s albums
Scientist Meets the Space Invaders
Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires
are both classics of their form, but
Curse of the Vampires
works better for your Halloween romp thanks to scene-setting toasts about mummies, guts, and blood.
45 Grave - Sleep in Safety
The best known song on LA death rock architects 45 Grave’s landmark debut album
Sleep in Safety
is “Partytime,” which somehow spins the story of a brutal child abuse / murder scenario into drinking anthem fodder. Dark.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads
Gloom god Nick Cave writes and covers a bunch of songs about people getting murdered. Get to it.
The Misfits - Walk Among Us
There’s never a wrong time for the Misfits, but there’s never a better time for “Devil’s Whorehouse” and the like than late October.
Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Confound your friends in pitch perfect style with English industrial progenitors Throbbing Gristle’s 1979 high watermark 20 Jazz Funk Greats, which, when it can be bothered to pull up out of downright creepy tone poems like “Beachy Head” and “Tanith,” is oddly very danceable.
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Juju
Few balanced punk attitude and pop hooks like Siouxsie Sioux and her Banshees did in their banner 70s and 80s run.
is their objectively Halloweeniest: “Spellbound,” “Sin in My Heart,” “Head Cut,” and duh, “Halloween” make a perfect playlist for your costumed reverie.
The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
The Fiery Furnaces’ finest hour is hooky but distractingly odd and also, when you start to play close attention, rife with watery doom and devilish touches like murdered children recounting the tale of their demise. (See: "Quay Cur")
Tyler, the Creator - Goblin
The only thing Tyler, the Creator rejects more than authority is the notion that the music he makes is easily described as horrorcore, but whatever he’d like for it to be called, his sophomore album
is some of the most gruesome and harrowing hip-hop of its decade.
Type O Negative - October Rust
No one ever mixed sex and death as intoxicatingly as Type O Negative's Pete Steele. RIP.
Sleep - Dopesmoker
Sleep’s stoner doom classic
is an hour-long song that’s equally as pulverizing as it is invitingly druggy. "Drop out of life with bong in hand…"
Dark Day - Exterminating Angel
No wave pioneer Robin Crutchfield’s coldwave act Dark Day’s debut album
is equal parts catchy and hellish, wall-to-wall chilly textures and darkness thick enough to choke on.
Dead Can Dance - Spleen and Ideal
4AD darkwave merchants Dead Can Dance’s
Spleen and Ideal
sounds like the last thing you hear before death by blood ritual in a cathedral of the damned. Happy Halloween.
Craig has a date with Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween 3: Season of the Witch tonight. Follow him on Twitter.