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10 Horror Punk Bands for Halloween

Updated on August 16, 2011

Horror Punk : Where Every Day is Halloween

Horror Punk is a sub-genere of punk rock that involves bands who play punk rock music with a horror theme to their appearance and lyrics.

The first band to establish this genere of music were the new Jersey band "The Misfits" led by the legendary Glenn Danzing.

As The Misfits became more and more popular with skateboarders and punk rockers, other bands began to emerge who embraced the combination of a love of horror movies with a love of punk rock.

Over the years, the genere has flourished in the US and abroad with numerous bands taking up the mantle.

AFI

A Fire Inside

AFI is a hardcore punk band from Ukiah, California formed in 1991. Although the band plays a brand of hardcore punk rock infused with metal, their lyric content and album cover artwork qualify them as a horror punk band. It also doesn't hurt that frontman Davey Havoc sports a Misfits style devil-lock hairstyle adding to the influence of the legendary band..

The band goes by the initials AFI which stand for "A Fire Inside", however, band members have claimed that the name was formerly from the title "Asking for It"

During the 20 years that AFI has been a band, they have released eight studio albums, a slew of EPs and two live albums. It wasn't until 2000 when the band released their fifth album "The Art of Drowning" that they achieved a measurable amount commercial success.

Subsequent releases in the last decade have seen AFI break through to mainstream and MTV success. On December 12, 2006, AFI released their first DVD I Heard a Voice, featuring a live performance shot in Long Beach, California.

Calabrese

The New Generation of Horror Punk

Calabrese are a Horror Punk band from formed in Phoenix, Arizona back in 2001 by three brothers Bobby, Jimmy, and Davey Calabrese. They draw their influences from the gothic horror and rockabilly scenes.

Their 2003 self-released EP "Midnight Spookshow " has become a collector's item and demonstrated the strength of the bands music.

Their 2005 album "13 Halloweens" was highly regarded by fans and critics alike. Even Rob Zombie cited the band as one fo the best new Horror Punk Bands out there.

If you're a fan of The Misfits, Calabrese is definitely a band worth checking out.

Groovie Ghoulies

Born in the Basement

The Groovie Ghoulies were a horror punk band from Sacramento, California formed in 1983 and eventually breaking up in 2007. Along the way, they released nine studio albums, several EP's and a slew of singles and splits.

The Groovie Ghoulies toured incessantly and the band changed members frequently with the only two permanent members being Kepi and Roach who were married. Their divorce led to the break-up of the band.

They took their inspiration from horror movies with music heavily influenced by early punk groups such as the Ramones and The Dickies, 1960s garage rock and bubblegum artists such as The Troggs and 1950s rock and roll artists.

Samhain

Horror Punk Meets Metal ala Danzig

Samhain was former Misfits lead singer Glenn Danzig's project formed after he parted ways with his old band in 1983. Samhain was a lot heavier than the Misfits and is often cited as having a more heavy metal influenced style although the lyric content still maintains the bands status as horror punk.

The band took their name from the ancient Celtic New Year "Samhain" which is the origin of the modern day Halloween.

Although the band Samhain is considered the least successful of Glenn Danzigs projects, there are still many fans who swear by the band and they have developed a loyal following.

By 1987 Samhain's membership evolved into a the band Danzig.

White Zombie

Make Them Die Slowly

White Zombie was formed in 1985 by frontman Rob Zombie. The band is best known for playing a groove metal style but their lyrical content is completely influenced by horror films.

Originally the band played a psychedelic punk noise style but as time went on the grooves got tighter and the band evolved into it's most popular sound in the mid to late 1990s.

The band was known for the prolific horror themed artwork of frontman Rob Zombie who was a Parsons School of Design student.

Alien Sex Fiend

The Lewd, The Mad, the Ugly and Old Nik

Alien Sex Fiend is a band who label themselves as deathrock but their style is more of a mix of industrial noise, goth, psychobilly, punk rock and hints of metal. The band was formed in London, England back in the 1980s by the married couple Nik Fiend (Nik Wade) and Mrs. Fiend (Christine Wade).

The lyric content and imagery are horror themed and the band is known to appear on stage in full make-up looking like ghouls or zombies.

In the years the band has been together they have released tons of material including 14 studio albums, 6 live albums and over 30 singles..Although the band has never received much commercial success, they have a loyal underground following.

The band also produces their own publication called "The Fiendzine"

Electric Frankenstein

Dawn of Electric Frankenstein

Electric Frankenstein, as with The Misfits are a punk rock band from New Jersey who play a high energy rock-n-roll style of music and combine it with horror themed lyrics and imagery.

Electric Frankenstein was formed in 1991 by brothers Sal and Dan Canzonier and much like the other horror punk band son this list, has included numerous line-ups with a revolving cast of band members. Past members have also played in the bands Adrenalin O.D., Ramones, Ironhead, Buzzard and many more.

Electric Frankenstein's music and graphic art has been featured in video games, such as Tony Hawk's Underground, TV shows such as Viva La Bam, The X-Files, Nitro Circus, Fantasy Factory, Dawson's Creek, and movies such as Signs, and American Psycho 2.

GWAR

Scumdogs of the Universe

Although GWAR is most often categorized as a metal band, their brand of over the top theatrics definitely qualify them for ranking in the horror punk genre and this lens wouldn't be complete without their inclusion. Although they are influenced by the metal genere, a lot of their music includes metal/punk/thrash crossover breakdowns made popular by bands like DRI, Corrosion of Conformity and the Crumbsuckers.

GWAR was formed in in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia and since then, they've been blowing minds with their brand of sci-fi/horror themed music and elaborate stage shows. It can be said that one cannot truly appreciate GWAR until you've seen them live and once you've seen them live, seeing them becomes an addiction because a GWAR concert is full audience participation..

Their complex costumes are designed and maintained by a collection of artists affectionately known as the "Slave Pit" and the group is a complete amalgamation of mucic, art and video.

The Cramps

Songs the Lord Taught Us

No Horror Punk list would be complete without The Cramps. Along with The Misfits, The Cramps were one of the earliest known punk bands to embrace the combination of punk rock crossed with horror themes. Their brand of psychobilly surf rock and stage appearance made The Cramps a legend amongst early punks, skaters and surfers.

The Cramps were formed in 1978 in New York City. The band has changed lineups over they years with the only two permanent members being the husband and wife duo of lead singer Lux Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy.

The Cramps were part of the early CBGB punk rock movement from New York that ushered in bands and musicians such as The Ramones, Blondie, Television, The Heartbreakers, The Fleshtones and the Talking Heads.

The Misfits

I Remember Halloween

Hailing from New Jersey, an area famous for Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and guidos with spray tans, The Misfits are probably the most infamous of all the bands on this list. Their 1982 album "Walk Among Us" is considered a landmark for the horror punk / hardcore punk genre and is constantly featured in greatest punk albums of all time lists.

The Misfits released a song called "Halloween" which was their fifth single released on October 31, 1981 by singer Glenn Danzig on his label Plan 9 Records. It was also the last Misfits release to include guitarist Bobby Steele who would later found the band The Undead.

Good luck trying to find as copy of this single as copies routinely sell on eBay for upwards of $500. Luckily it's been re-issued several times.

The Misfits - Halloween

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    • Oneshotvariety LM profile image

      Oneshotvariety LM 5 years ago

      Great bands for Halloween!

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      Sounds like the perfect Halloween music! Blessed :)