10 Halloween Songs to Bump in the Night

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October is in full swing, and soon, we’ll all be clad in our favorite costumes, celebrating the spookiest of holidays. To get you ready for your next Halloween bash, we’ve put together a monstrous list of the most terrifying pop punk and post-hardcore songs to ever walk the earth.

Throughout the years, several bands from the scene have taken the opportunity to tell chilling tales set to the sounds of squealing guitars and drum fills. We think it all makes for the perfect brew – a frightening soundtrack of Halloween terror. So go ahead and listen, if you dare. These songs are so good, it’s scary.

Showbread – “Dead By Dawn”

What better way to indulge in Halloween revelry than with a screamo portrayal of “Evil Dead 2?” Showbread, forever a band with a flair for the dramatic (and a love of horror movies), unleashes a terrifying tale of the Book of the Dead and the subsequent mayhem that ensues.

Sleeping with Sirens – “Dead Walker Texas Ranger”

Sleeping with Sirens made their entry into the post-hardcore Halloween canon with a song inspired by “The Walking Dead.” Here, the band advises us to run for our lives and “Watch as your greatest fears return to life.” Look out! They’re right behind you!

The Devil Wears Prada – “Outnumbered”

Speaking of the undead, The Devil Wears Prada have something to say with their five-song Zombie EP. On “Outnumbered”, the band depict a fallen world overrun with the living dead, backlit by brutal breakdowns. If the frightening tale won’t crush you, the music will.

Panic! at the Disco – “This is Halloween”

Want something a touch more light-hearted? Brendan Urie and co. are here with a rendition from everyone’s favorite Tim Burton tale. Panic! capture the mischief and magic of Jack Skellington on this frightfully fun track.

He Is Legend – “Attack of the Dungeon Witch”

Another band with a knack for scary stories, He Is Legend tell the tale of a violently vile antagonist that appears to cast a spell of charm. “I drank with the dungeon witch / Left my ring on her night stand / I woke with the dungeon witch / Now she’s got the upper hand”.

My Chemical Romance – “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”

For a band that made a living off of dark stories of revenge and death, it’s hard to pick just one song by My Chemical Romance that fits the Halloween mold. Before he shouted Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge or marched along with The Black Parade, Gerard Way sang of the allure of bloodsucking monsters.

The Maine – “Forever Halloween”

With Forever Halloween, The Maine took a lighter approach to the spooky holiday season. On the album’s title track, we’re told that the bumps in the night are nothing to be afraid of: “And darling, don’t you start to scream / It doesn’t mean anything / It’s just make believe”.

AFI – “Halloween”

The Misfits were certainly a band custom made for Halloween and AFI beautifully encapsulates that spirit on their cover of “Halloween”. Another band that knows their way around the darkness, AFI rip through this track for their All Hallow’s EP as Davey Havok sounds like a man on fire.

Fall Out Boy – “What’s This?”

You could argue “What’s This?” as more of a Christmas song, but its inclusion as a vital piece of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack makes it eligible for this list. Plus, who could resist the sounds of Patrick Stump crooning, “Instead of screams, I swear / I can hear music in the air”.

Showbread – “George Romero Will Be at Our Wedding”

Our list wouldn’t be complete without one more song from Showbread as they pay homage to horror genius George Romero. Here, Josh Dies sings from the perspective of a man-turned zombie in search of his love. “If true love lasts forever, then love doesn’t die / It just becomes the living dead”. How romantic!

BONUS! Kanye West – “Monster”

What’s scarier than “Sasquatch, Godzilla, King Kong, Loch Ness”? How about a dark track in which ‘Ye, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj all embrace their inner monster? In fact, if Nicki’s blood-curdling shriek at the end of her manic verse doesn’t send chills down your spine, you may want to literally check your pulse.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Reflecting on: Showbread – No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical

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Throughout 2014, we’re going to be looking back on some of the best albums that were released 10 years ago and discussing their legacy. Feel free to share your thoughts and memories in the replies. Enjoy!

The screamo explosion of the mid-aughts certainly came with a degree of predictability, but it wasn’t without its curveballs. As the sing/scream/breakdown formula became commonplace with rapid intensity, a few outliers staked their claim with their own brand of the suddenly fashionable sound. The most peculiar of these was, without a doubt, Showbread.

Hailing from the small town of Guyton, Georgia, Showbread stormed onto the scene radar in 2004 after signing with Tooth and Nail Records. What followed was one of the most genre-defying and wildly entertaining spectacles of the year: No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical.

Showbread’s sound, dubbed “raw rock” by the band themselves, was a frenzied mash-up of new-wave screamo, punk and pop rock with a dash of dance-y electronica thrown in for good measure. Visually, the band was a sight to behold, weighing in at seven members strong and featuring two vocalists and a full-fledged keytar player.

Everything about the band – the identical uniforms, the abrasive album title, the confounding artwork, the spastic sounds – seemed crafted to make some sort of statement. By the time you actually press play on the record, you feel prepared for anything. Fortunately, No Sir does not disappoint.

The album’s opening track, “A Llama Eats a Giraffe (And Vice Versa)” hits full throttle with a symphony of wild guitars and fuzzy synthesizers as vocalists Josh Dies and Ivory Mobley trade back and forth shrieks and screams. Amidst the chaos are some truly thought-provoking and unexpected lyrics. As the opening verse closes with, “Patronized you harmonize, a thorax rattles so / Like idealistic jargon every self-respecting hopeful should know”, you feel prepared for a deep tour into the meaning of existence.

Not so fast. The song’s ending gives way to the sounds of a chainsaw before leading into the dirty, distorted guitar riff that kicks off “Dead By Dawn” – the band’s own homage to Evil Dead 2. The track is a bloody tale of the Book of the Dead, capped off with the climactic lines, “The corpses wish to cover me with kisses, so just maybe / I’ll cover this cabin with their blood – hail to the king, baby”.

If this transition of sound and subject seems awkward, maybe that’s the point. No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical is a crash course on societal and cultural quandaries with the band’s own flare for the dramatic serving as the cherry on top of the rock and roll sundae.

Poppy single “Mouth Like a Magazine” examines the good/evil duality that resides inside us all. “The Missing Wife” is an acoustic number telling a tragic tale of guilt turned hopeful with the promise of forgiveness. “Matthias Replaces Judas” is a powerful rock ballad pushed over the top by the guest vocals of Five Iron Frenzy’s Reese Roper.

No Sir is truly chock full of diverse sonic explorations. In the mood to mosh? Turn up the wicked riffs found throughout “Welcome to Plainfield Tobe Hooper”. Looking for some proggy experimentation? Throw on the Nine Inch Nails-influenced “Sampsa Meets Kafka”. Want to dance? Take a listen to the bouncy “So Selfish It’s Funny”.

Whether they’re waxing philosophical, wrestling with religion, or expressing their love for horror films, Showbread has no shortage of palates to paint on. Their quirky style and unpredictable transitions are engaging on a level that extends beyond their musical talents, which are notable to be sure. No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical is not an album crafted for everyone – it’s an album displaying a band exactly as they are. It’s up to the listener to take it or leave it.

Throughout their career, the band would undergo a jaw-dropping amount of member changes, each resulting in a completely new sound. Showbread has never been a band to do the same thing twice. The result is a fan base spanning a broad spectrum of interest. To claim one album as the best would be to ignore the obvious elements of taste and personal preference.

For my money, No Sir captured lighting in a bottle – a dizzying debut of an album that was impossible to replicate, even if you unwisely wanted to try. Its lyrics are razor sharp and its sound is raging and unpredictable. It requires patience and repeated listens to grasp. Just be careful – as the band says, “raw rock kills.”

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.