Alice Cooper

Playlist: Lovin’ the Dead

If your local stores are being taken over by red and pink teddy bears and lots of chocolates, then you know Valentine’s Day is on the way. Some see it as a romantic day to remind that special someone you love them. Others see it as corporate made up bullshit to sell more greeting cards and candy no one will finish. So instead of recapping sappy love songs that every playlist on the internet will be talking, let’s look at the dark side of love no one wants to talk about: necrophilia. For reasons that remain unknown for the majority of the population, some people really get off on the dead. It’s a taboo subject, making it perfect for rock and heavy metal stars to talk about. There are a disturbing amount of songs about necrophilia out there, so let’s check out a small sampling. Just remember when you’re listening to songs about caressing dead flesh and breathing in rotten smells, have a happy Valentine’s Day.

“Night Shift” – Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees have never shied away from the Gothic and the macabre, but here they get downright disturbing. This track from their 1981 album Juju, paints a graphic picture of a madman who kills women and then has their way with them. Siouxsie sings “The cold marble slab submits at my feet/With a neat dissection/Looking so sweet to me /please come to me/With your cold flesh/my cold love.” Her haunting delivery and the dark lyrics are enough to give you chills. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the song is based on the crimes of Peter Sutcliffe aka The Yorkshire Ripper. The English killer murdered 13 women between 1975 – 1980. He was finally convicted in 1981. So yeah, this song is kind of terrifying.

“I Want You…Dead” – Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13 has made a career out of singing about the dead. Writing songs about loving the dead is kind of his thing and it’s no different on this track from his solo debut album. Here, he makes it clear how he likes his women, no longer breathing: “Give ’em to me decayed, give ’em to me anyway/I don’t care ’cause you know I only want you/Dead, dead, dead.” He doesn’t even care if his dead lady decides to come back to life, kill him slowly or butcher, he just wants them dead. Thankfully, 13 spares us of the details of what he wants to do with the dead. But it’s not hard to put two and two together.

“I Love the Dead” – Alice Cooper

Is there any surprise Alice Cooper has a song about necrophilia? Coming from the album Billion Dollar Babies, an album exploring the dark, sick perversions in humans, Cooper sings about how much he loves the dead. It’s pretty straight forward as he sings about how he likes the dead “before they’re cold” and how he has “other uses” for them. If it wasn’t clear enough what plans he has for them, the bridge of the song features Cooper moaning and groaning in the throes of what I can only assume is pleasure. It may be one of the tamer songs about necrophilia sparing gory details, but for 1973 it was beyond scandalous. It remains one of Cooper’s most beloved songs and one that puts the talents of the band on display.

“I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy” – Antony and the Johnsons

This is probably the most beautiful song about the dead on this playlist. The haunting, yet beautiful voice of Anohni is enough to bring you to tears as she sings about a dead boy she found. Though the person is clearly dead and the protagonist even wonders if she should call a doctor, she lays with him anyway. Slowly, she falls in love with him though no one else understands the relationship. Oddly enough, it’s very sweet and sentimental. It’s haunting and downright gorgeous, which you don’t expect from a song about the dead.

“Corpse in my Bed” – Creature Feature

With psychedelic music made for The Munsters, this horror rock duo actually questions how wrong it is to have a corpse in your bed. They don’t go into disgusting detail, but like other songs on the playlist, they find comfort in their dead love. The singer here doesn’t care if his love is just skin and bone. The only thing he seems to mind is the smell, which is a mix of “rancid milk and moldy pears.” He later admits he’s just alone and doesn’t want to be by himself. Why he just doesn’t meet someone online is beyond me. At least he seems to just be lying next to the corpse in this song.

“Last Kiss Goodbye” – Lordi

It makes sense that a Finnish metal band that frequently dresses as demons occasionally sing about loving the dead. In this track, frontman Mr. Lordi sings about finding a lovely dead woman under the trees, wrapped in leaves, yet knowing he can share his desire with no one else. He vows to keep it a secret as he gives her one last kiss. The song takes a somewhat comical approach to the subject with the line “It’s been years since we last met/Now it’s fall and the leaves are wet/I think you must have lost some weight/but you’re still lovely.” For a song about necrophilia, it’s surprisingly upbeat. You’ll find yourself singing along before realizing what it’s actually about.

“Heirate Mich” – Rammstein

This track, which means “Marry Me” in German, finds a widowed man so desperate to be with his loved one again he goes to extreme lengths to be with her. The song details him digging into the earth, pulling her up, and caressing her cold skin. The lyrics get a tad disgusting when Till Lindemann sings about her skin feeling like paper and pieces of her falling away. The man is tortured as she has slipped away from him once again. Rather than talking about screwing dead corpses, this is a tragic tale of not getting over losing a loved one. The song doesn’t seem as shocking, disturbing, or nasty as the others on the playlist. It’s quite sad, making you feel bad for the guy. Of course with its boot-stomping rhythm and intense vocals, Rammstein still finds a way to make the song brutal.

“Dead Girls” – Voltaire

Voltaire deals with all things dark, Gothic, and macabre, so it makes sense to find one of his songs on the list. But this one differs from most here. Rather than being about not getting over a lost love or just having a weird fetish, Voltaire tells the story of a man who prefers his women dead because he has rotten luck with living women. This man loves the dead because they don’t hurt him, fully accept him, and are kind in a way no other woman has been. Looking at it this way, you feel bad for the guy. He only feels comfortable around the dead, even though he knows it’s pretty strange. Thinking about it that way it’s not as creepy, but still creepy.

“Chrissy Kiss the Corpse” – Of Montreal

You wouldn’t expect this jaunty tune to be about a girl with a disturbing habit. Sounding like an upbeat vintage beach party tune, the band sings about finding a corpse at the bus stop and having fun with it. But drawing on it and putting a match between its toes is nothing compared to what Chrissy does with it. Granted it’s only a kiss, nothing too graphic, but the song suggests this isn’t the first time Chrissy has exhibited such behavior. Even the cops that come by wanting to check out the action. Is doing the actual kissing of the corpse more disturbing than watching it happen? Eh, this song is weird either way.

“Die My Bride” – Murderdolls

Wednesday 13 pops up again with another song about loving the dead with his former horrorpunk outfit the Murderdolls. Here 13 gets a bit more graphic as he details all the blood and gore. He’s not just digging up girls to get busy with. He goes for a fresh kill before he says “I do.” There’s talk of pulling off fingers and bashing in heads in this gruesome song. It sounds like a plot of a shlocky b-horror movie, which makes sense coming from 13 and crew.

“Fuck the Dead” – GG Allin

When you’re known for cutting and shitting yourself on stage, threating to commit suicide live, and fighting with the crowd, a song about necrophilia doesn’t seem so shocking. So of course, it would be a topic GG Allin would cover. Allin isn’t subtle about desires in the least. The hook is nothing but him shouting “fuck the dead/fuck the dead.” And he goes for distasteful as he describes eating maggots, rotten smells, and screwing every cold orifice. It’s disgusting and lewd, much like Allin himself.

“Necrophiliac” – Slayer

This song isn’t just about screwing the dead; it’s about breeding the spawn of Satan. This is the type of song that scared the shit out of parents in the 80s. It’s full of bloated corpses, lewd imagery, sex, and of course, the devil. After doing the deed with the corpse, a demon bursts out of the body and takes revenge against the one who took advantage of the dead body. Now, the necrophiliac has to spend the rest of his life in hell burning in the fiery depths. So, I guess it’s teaching a lesson about not fucking dead bodies?

“Born in a Casket” – Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse is known for shocking and disgusting people with their album artwork alone. So, a song detailing necrophilia is par for the course. This song pulls no punches and maps out every nasty, gruesome detail about the deed: the rotten smell, oozing goo, and green pus. Just when things couldn’t get nastier, the breeding produces an unholy spawn, which proceeds to feast on the dead flesh. And of course, there’s mention of “devouring the afterbirth.” This song isn’t for the faint of heart, that is if you can understand what they’re saying. Maybe it’s best to have the lyrics handy when listening to this one.

Which song about necrophilia got under your skin the most? Which ones did I forget? Let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Rock Stars You Forgot Were in Horror Movies

It’s Halloween! Time to overdose on candy and watch horror movies. Rock stars even get in the fun and sometimes make…interesting appearances in horror movies. Sometimes it’s not that bad, but most of the time it’s clear they should stick to music. To get you in the mood for things that go bump in the night, here are ten rock stars you forgot in horror movies. They’re ranked from best performances to worst.

10. Tom Waits in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Somehow Tom Waits playing the role of the insane Renfield in Dracula is oddly appropriate. Watching scenes of him eating flies and gravelly cackling about his vampiric master is hypnotizing and frightening. He perfectly shows how far gone Renfield is at this point in the film. What is probably the creepiest thing is how he still seems charming even though he’s spiraling into madness and is out for blood. With his demeanor and trademark gravelly voice, seems like Waits should be in more sophisticated horror movies.

9. Chester Bennington in Saw 3D

Unless you’re an avid fan of the Saw franchise, you might’ve missed Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington in the seventh installment of the series. In the film, he plays a Neo-Nazi named Evan who has to gruesomely tear himself from a car seat in order to save his friends. As you expect, things don’t end very well for the gang. Bennington puts his hard rock chops to work by screaming for his life. The scene is hard to watch and turns your stomach. Bennington landed the role by happenstance. Producer Mark Burg lived next to one of the Linkin Park bandmembers and heard Bennington was a huge fan. It’s an odd cameo, but at least he was decent at it.

8. David Bowie and Peter Murphy in The Hunger

If there’s anyone who could play a suave, sexy vampire, it’s David Bowie. The rocker landed the starring role in this 1983 “erotic thriller” about a love triangle between a doctor and a vampire couple. It’s not a horror movie per se, but rather a slick looking film with supernatural elements. Though the movie received mixed reviews, Bowie is as cool and stylish as ever. It may not be an awarding winning performance, but it’s better than most on this list. Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy also makes a brief appearance during the film’s credits singing the Goth anthem “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

7. Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

Two legendary rockers pop up in this forgotten 80s horror movie. In this film, Eddie is devastated over the loss of his favorite rocker Sammi Curr. He gets more than he asks when Curr starts haunting him. Simmons plays Nuke, Eddie’s friend who’s a DJ at the local radio station. The performance is forgettable and easy to miss as Simmons if you aren’t paying attention, or if you aren’t a KISS fan. But Ozzy’s turn as an evangelist talking about the evils of heavy metal must be scene. Dressed in a suit and with his hair slicked back, Osbourne warns kids about the evil of heavy metal with a straight face. Seeing as Ozzy’s music was touted as being Satanic and responsible for deaths in the 80s, it’s hilarious to hear him talk about the evilness of rock music.

6. Sting in The Bride

Did you know there was a remake/re-imagining of The Bride of Frankenstein? Yeah, it’s a terrible idea. To make things even more confusing, the film starred Sting as Baron Charles Frankenstein. The movie follows the same basic plot of the original: Frankenstein makes a mate for his infamous monster and everything goes to shit. Set in a lush Victorian setting, the film is visually pleasing, but that seems to be the most interesting about it. The movie was critically panned, as expected. Gene Siskel even called it a Monstorous Failure. But that didn’t stop Sting from starring in more movies, like Plenty and Dune. Guess the guy can’t take a hint.

5. Dee Snider in Strangeland

When Snider isn’t fronting Twisted Sister he’s apparently writing horror films. He wrote and starred in 1998’s Strangeland, which focuses on a small town being terrified by a tattooed and pierced baddie Captain Howdy. Howdy uses internet chat rooms to stalk and torture his victims. This is a movie that can only be made in the 90s when everyone was young and naive about the internet. The trailer looks cheesy as hell, but Snider at least seems decent. Still, the movie got negative reviews upon release. Guess people liked the movie the first time they saw it as Hellraiser.

4. Marilyn Manson in Rise: Blood Hunter

Marilyn Manson is no stranger to acting. He’s made appearances in films The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things and Party Monster. But in 2007 he made a low key appearance in sub par horror film Rise: Blood Hunter starring Lucy Liu. Judging from the three-minute clip, the movie is pretty lame. Manson is monotone and boring as the everyday bartender who helps Eve (Liu) to find someone. There’s nothing notable about his acting. The most interesting thing about the clip is Manson sans makeup, which is not as shocking as it used to be. There’s probably a reason you’ve never heard of this film. Maybe we need to keep it that way.

3. Jon Bon Jovi in Vampires: Los Muertos

Jon Bon Jovi has some weird obsession with being a cowboy. It started with “Dead or Alive” and lead to several roles in Western films. So when John Carpenter penned a script a horror Western, Jovi took the call to star as Derek Bliss, vampire hunter. This is actually a sequel to Carpenter’s 1998 film Vampires, which was pretty successful. This one, however, is a straight to video sequel. There’s really nothing else to say after that. You don’t need to see the entire movie to know it’s bad. Just watch the trailer and see how stiff and lifeless Jovi is in the starring role. Even the scene when he kind of turns into a vampire is dull. Maybe the rocker should stick with radio friendly hits that you love, yet hate at the same time.

2. Alice Cooper in Monster Dog

When browsing through Netflix one night, I came across this odd movie. A horror flick starring the equally frightening Alice Cooper? What could go wrong? Apparently, a lot. The movie is slow, dull, and just awful. Not even funny awful. Just bad. Cooper’s performance is unremarkable and the plot of wild dogs attacking random citizens sounds cool but is hardly terrifying. Even the scene where Cooper turns into a werewolf, which you have to sit through the entire movie for, is boring. To make things worse, the movie is dubbed in English and none of the English actors voiced their own lines. So throughout the entire viewing, you wonder if something’s off or if you’re just going crazy.

1.Roger Daltrey in Vampirella

In this terrible adaption of the long-running Vampirella comic series, The Who frontman Roger Daltrey stars in this direct to video film. That should say it all right there. Daltrey stars as Vlad/Jamie Blood, who is Vampirella’s enemy and a rock star on weekends. And yes, that does mean there is a musical scene in the film. Seeing an aging Daltrey straining and trying to be enticing with a rat’s tail on the side of his head is cringe worthy. He doesn’t sound bad performing, but when it comes to enticing vampires, Daltrey isn’t the first guy you think of. Judging from the trailer, it’s one of those movies you watch with friends to laugh at how awful it is. What was Daltrey thinking?

Honorable mention:

Sonny Bono in Troll

I didn’t include this one because Sonny Bono isn’t a rock star. But seeing him transform into some weird plant/pod monster was too good to not talk about. Bono gets trick by a troll in the titular movie Troll, yes the precursor to the hilariously awful Troll 2. If you can manage to sit throughout the entire thing, you’ll even catch a young Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Happy Halloween!

Music From the Motion Picture Wayne’s World

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 7/10

Wayne’s World is one of the best and most beloved comedies from the 90s. The characters are iconic, the catchphrases are memorable, and everything about the films are hilarious. Since Wayne and Garth are obsessed with music you can expect it to have a killer soundtrack, right? Sort of. Where the Wayne’s World OST shines in representing the movie and the era it comes from, it’s lackluster in other places.

The music for the soundtrack is a mix of classic rock tunes with what was current at the time. Opening the album is the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What can you say about this song that hasn’t already been said? It’s amazing. It’s probably the best song in Queen’s catalog. Thanks to the movie, the track became more iconic with the scene of Wayne and Garth miming the entire thing in the car. It was this clip that pushed the song back into the charts 17 years after its initial release. Also included is the sensuous Jimi Hendrix track “Foxey Lady.” Just try not to think of Garth’s dance when you hear that roaring riff.

From there, most of the music falls into glam metal. “Hot and Bothered” by Cinderella is typical glam metal with sleazy guitars and screeching vocals. It can be fun if you’re in the mood to rock out to 80s cheese, but to really appreciate it you have to be a glam metal fan. “Rock Candy” by Bulletboys has the same vibe: sleaziness. Oddly enough, this a cover; the original is by Sammy Hagar’s band Montrose. And if glam metal isn’t your thing then Rhino Bucket’s “Ride With Yourself” isn’t going to be appealing. It’s more of the same typical glam metal sound. It makes sense why this music is all over the album; it perfectly represents Wayne and Garth. This is the type of music they like, so in those terms, the music does a great job. Also, glam metal was still around, but waning in popularity thanks to the grunge uprising.

Aside from a few classic tracks, there aren’t many notable songs on the soundtrack. There’s an extended “Wayne’s World Theme” that goes on too long. It’s the same jokes and random noises going on for five minutes. You get tired of it after two minutes. The Tia Carrere tracks are interesting. It makes sense why they’re included; she’s not only a musician but a star of the movie. Her cover of Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” isn’t terrible. It stays pretty close to the original making it kind of bland. Her closing track “Why You Wanna Break my Heart?” is a standard 90s ballad; sappy music, corny lyrics. It’s not horrible, just very vanilla.

Aside from Queen and Hendrix, the best track is the Red Hot Chili Peppers b-side “Sikamikanico.” It’s the Chili Peppers at their peak: hyper vocals, boundless energy, and a fast pace that makes you dizzy. You can barely make out what’s happening, but you’ll be moshing too much to care. Midway through the song shifts gears slowing things down as if giving listeners a break. It doesn’t last too long; they’re back to the chaotic and destructive vibe in no time. It’s a great reminder of how crazy, wild, and unpredictable the Chili Peppers were before they mellowed out and focused more on grooving.

The rest of the songs aren’t bad but are great at representing the movie. Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” is kind of weird with the spacey, creepy noises at the start and end. It makes it sound like a spooky song rather than a cheesy love song. “Loving Your Loving” is an underwhelming blues tune by Eric Clapton. Guess you have to be a fan of his to appreciate it. “Feed My Frankenstein” is cheesy, but fun. Lyrics like “I’m a hungry man/but I don’t want pizza” make you cringe, but it’s tolerable. It’s Alice Cooper, you expect some schlock from him. It’s not the best Cooper song, but it’s passable.

So is the soundtrack good? It depends on how you look at it. On its own, it hasn’t aged very well. But in the context of the movie, it’s stellar. It does a great job at representing what the movie is about and who Wayne and Garth are. It’s a mix of what these two guys listen to along with songs featured in the movie. It’s very much a product of its era with the glam metal and even with an extended Wayne’s World theme song, but it can be a lot of fun. If you’re in the mood for some cheesy rock or looking for a nostalgia trip, I recommend this soundtrack. Otherwise, it doesn’t make for many repeated listens.

Playlist: Horror Movie Fest

Pull out the costumes, stock up on candy, and break out the scary movies. Halloween is upon us! Of course horror movies are big this time of year, but they also find themselves in several songs. Whether directly about scary movies or just inspired by them, several musicians have channeled their love for the terrifying genre into their music. And no, I’m not just talking about Rob Zombie. While you’re looking through Netflix for the best horror movies out there, here’s a playlist of songs about horror movies.

“Living Dead Girl” – Rob Zombie

You could fill this entire playlist with tracks from the Zombie man, but not only is this one of his best songs, it’s also packed with horror references. The title is taken from a 1982 Jean Rollins film of the same name and the video is a take on the silent horror film The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. There are also various samples taken from movies, such as Lady Frankenstein and Daughters of Darkness. At least you can always count on this man for great horror inspired songs…not so much for movies though.

“Eyes Without a Face” – Billy Idol

One of my favorite Idol songs, this one gets its title from the French film Les yeux sans visage aka Eyes Without a Face. Though it starts out as one of the punk rockers more mellow tracks, it still packs a punch with a searing riff from Steve Stevens during the bridge. It’s a ballad where Idol manages to sound haunting, yet longing for his lover. It’s still one of his best tracks and to think it was inspired from this little horror gem. Go watch that movie if you haven’t by the way. It’s unsettling and impressive for a movie of its time.

“Hellraiser” – Motorhead

This song has an interesting history. It was first recorded by Ozzy Osbourne in 1991 for the album No More Tears. It was then re-recorded by Motorhead the following year and repurposed it for the film Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth.  Just from listening to the lyrics you can tell producers latched onto the song for the title alone. It doesn’t actually have much to do with the movie, aside from Pinhead appearing in the video. The closest the song comes is during the second verse that talks about waking up in another place and doing something bad for your health, which are themes related to the franchise. But I guess we can let it slide since it is a kick ass song anyway.

“Chain Saw” – The Ramones

The Ramones have shown their love for horror films with tracks like “Pet Sematary,” but this one was influenced by the iconic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Roaring to life with a buzzing chainsaw, the music is upbeat and is made for moshing. You almost forget about the gruesomeness happening in the lyrics as Joey Ramone sings “Texas chain saw massacre/They took my baby away from me/But she’ll never get out of there.” It also shows how the band had the talent to turn anything into a kick ass punk tune.

“Nosferatu” – Blue Oyster Cult

Before Stephanie Meyers gave us sappy, emo vampires, there was the original Dracula. That then spawned the legendary silent film Nosferatu, which BOC recounts in this haunting song. The lyrics tell the story of a lady doomed to fall in love with the vampire only to end with his demise by sunlight. It’s not the only song out there about the famous creature of the night, but it does stay pretty faithful to the nature of the film.

“Human Fly” – The Cramps

With a slick rockabilly, punk rock infused sound, Cramps frontman Lux Interior hisses, stutters, and buzzes his way through this track inspired by the Vincent Price film The Fly. The simple guitar groove creates this b-movie creature creepiness to it – it would be perfect in a 50’s horror film – perfectly cementing the mood for the cool track. If you’ve seen the movie, especially the 1986 remake, you know that this fly in the song doesn’t sound as chilling as the bastardize experiment.

“Fright Night” – J. Geils Band

Acting as the lead track for this excellent vampire flick, the song is a bit hokey. Think of other “spooky” tracks like “Monster Mash” for an idea. The lyrics describe the antagonist as a liar, a gigolo, “a man of many faces,” while trembling synth tries to create a spooky, creepy riff. Yeah, it’s kind of cheesy, especially with the hook simply shouting “Fright night! Whose it gonna be tonight?” but it grows on you after a while and kind of fits the b-movie mood.

“Freddy Krueger” – S.O.D.

This is a pretty straight forward thrash metal track describing the grotesque manipulator of nightmares, Freddy Krueger. The horror icon is described as having flex metal knuckles and maggots crawling throughout his skin and the chorus features gang vocals shouting “he comes for you/what will you do.” With this track it’s plain and simple that you don’t want to mess with Freddy, no matter how many shitty sequels he has. If you’re looking for another Freddy inspired track, you can check out Dokken’s “Dream Warriors,” but it’s kind of crappy.

“He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” – Alice Cooper

Moving from Freddy to Jason, this song isn’t what I would call one of his best. If anything it’s kind of schlocky, but that just means it’s perfect for a Friday the 13th movie. Recorded for the film Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Cooper lays out the basic premise of the film: Jason comes back to life and starts killing foolish teens. The song even makes sure to use the killer’s infamous “ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma” echo. Oddly enough, the track is very New Wave in nature making it stand out from Cooper’s other songs. Apparently, Children of Bodom covered this song, but it was never released. I bet their version is pretty killer.

“I Walked with a Zombie” – Wednesday 13

Similar to Rob Zombie, Wednesday 13 is another rock artist who bases his work around his love of horror movies. This was inspired by the 1943 flick of the same name. The lyrics even loosely follow the story of a woman who enters a trance like state and is taken to a mysterious island where she tries to find a cure. The video itself features scenes from the famous zombie film Night of the Living Dead. 13 has a ton of songs based on horror movies, but with the upbeat music and the catchy hook, this is his most popular.

“Night of the Living Dead” – The Misfits

There’s something about punk rock and horror that mesh so well together and The Misfits always know how to do it best. Released on their debut album Walk Among Us, the song loosely follows the plot of the movie by talking about not knowing who’s a zombie and seeing them rip apart your loved ones. It’s short, sweet, and sure to give you your zombie fix.

“Evil Dead” – Death

This death metal band pays homage to the first film in the Evil Dead franchise with this chaotic song. Guitars grind and thrash while singer Chuck Schuldiner screams and rages about “spirits within causing terror” and voices speaking out. The lyrics are pretty sparse with vague references to the movie. The only way you know it’s about the horror film is the chorus that yells “evil dead!” over and over again. This isn’t the only time a rock band would use Evil Dead as an influence and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

“Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads

The lyrics for this track were largely inspired by Norman Bates from the Hitchcock classic Psycho. Here, David Byrne explores the fractured and shattered mind of a serial killer. How he came up with the song is kind of strange. According to Bryne, this was his attempt at making an Alice Cooper song except in the style of Randy Newman. He felt the result was pretty silly, but it proved to be another hit for the band. Though it’s a great song, I prefer Cage the Elephant’s cover.

Honorable Mention

“Black Sabbath” – Black Sabbath

Even though both the title of the song and the band were taken from the 1969 horror film of the same name, the lyrics have nothing to do with the movie. But you have to give a nod to the movie that would give birth to the best heavy metal band in music history. Also, the song is just fucking terrifying. The lyrics are actually based on a supernatural experience Geezer Butler had. According to him, after painting his apartment black, hanging up several crosses, and reading a book on witchcraft before going to bed, a black figure appeared at the end of his bed. When he went to get the book he discovered it was gone. This remains one of the band’s strongest tracks and the one that gave them their Satanist connections though they were unfounded.

There are a lot of horror inspired songs out there, so which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Playlist: Have a Rockin’ Christmas!

Christmas is officially a week away! It’s time to wrap those presents and prepare the house for unwanted family members. By now, you’re probably sick and tired of the same holidays songs pounding through your brain. If you’re looking for something different, there’s a surprising amount of rock Christmas covers though many of them aren’t very good. You could spend time browsing through awful covers of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” by washed up hair metal bands or you can check out this playlist of the best rock Christmas songs. Enjoy!

“All I Want for Christmas is You” – My Chemical Romance

I’m not the biggest MCR fan, but I have to admit they do an amazing job with taking this overplayed Christmas classic and turning it into something fresh and exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original, but out of all the covers I’ve heard this is the best. It starts off with Gerard Way doing his best soulful impression before the blazing guitars and standard screaming vocals come in tearing the song apart. What’s even better they all sound good when singing the song. It still manages to be as catchy as the Carey version, but MCR breathes new life into it. If only they were still around to do a Christmas album.

“Last Christmas” – Jimmy Eat World

This is a simple, yet sweet cover from the pop-punk band for anyone who hates the Wham! version ( I love it!). They stay pretty true to the original while bringing their own melodic nature to the track. They actually turn the song into something mellow, soft, and kind of sad. The song itself is actually kind of a downer, but that’s easy to forget with the cheerful music playing in the background. It goes to show drastic changes don’t always make for the best cover songs.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – Firehouse

This glam metal band stay true to the vibe of the original, but they bring a bit of edginess to it. Singer C.J. Snare does a decent enough job on vocals, but what makes this version stand out are the slick and fiery guitar licks. Towards the end Snare shakes things up by replacing the last line with “Bang your head right to the beat in a heavy metal way!” It’s a fun spin on this Christmas classic that’ll get you moshing around the tree. On second thought, maybe that’s not such a great idea.

“Buried by Christmas” – Wednesday 13

It’s surprising to learn Wednesday 13 has a Christmas song, but this one takes a grim turn. Just as with most of his songs he talks about death. He keeps his horror punk roots in tact with lines like “Santa! If your fat ass can hear me, you better have me a freshly dug grave!” and “All I want for Christmas is a custom fit coffin with black velvet interior and a bucket of chicken.” It’s humorous and a little grim like the rest of his material. It’s definitely not your traditional holiday tune. You may not want to play around your family if they can’t appreciate cryptic humor, but you can rock out to it all night long. It’s a little weird, but loads of fun.

“Sleigh Ride” – August Burns Red

Surprisingly, August Burns Red has an instrumental Christmas album. While they have several cool renditions of songs like “Joy to the World,” this one is by far the best. It starts out sounding like the traditional tune before the aggressive guitars and racing drums are unleashed. They speed up the song a bit to make it more excited and more appropriate for a mosh pit, but they didn’t change too much where you can’t identify the song. There’s even one part where they throw in some Jazz piano to keep the listener on their toes. It’s fresh, exciting, and makes you want to grab a sleigh and play in the snow. Plus, it’s way better than the Debbie Gibson version.

“Jingle Bells” – Skid Row

If you need to liven up your Christmas party, this is the song to play. Even though the guys in Skid Row sound a little silly shouting “Jingle bells!” at the top of their lungs, it’s still a lot of fun and will get any rock fan in the holiday mood. Musically, they flip the song on its head by layering guitar riffs on top of each other for that metal sound. They even toss in some gang vocals to put their own spin on it. It’s not the best metal Christmas cover out there, but it’s pretty fun and livens up your holiday spirit.

“Rock And Roll Christmas” – George Thorogood

You may only know him for “Bad to the Bone,” but Thorogood also has one of the most fun Christmas songs out there. With punchy horns blaring and slick guitar licks snaring, he lists off his Christmas wishes, while declaring “Let’s have a rock and roll Christmas” with good family and friends. The song represents what the holidays should be about: having a good time with the people you love. It’s upbeat, catchy, exciting, and better than the traditional Christmas songs radio stations and malls keep beating you over the head with. It’s also one of the few holiday tracks you can cut loose to. This is one that definitely should get more recognition around this time of year. Also, is it just me or does it remind you of that Arthur Christmas song?

“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” – The Ramones

Even New York City punks get in the Christmas spirit sometimes. The Ramones bring their special brand of three-chord rock to this unique holiday song. It actually has a poignant message; nobody should be fighting on Christmas. What’s great about this song is it’s just as upbeat, catchy, and energetic as their other songs making it something you won’t mind hearing the entire year. It works so well because The Ramones just did what the normally do, make good music, and sprinkled some Christmas cheer over it.

“X-M@$” – Corey Taylor

I already talked about this track on my list of unconventional Christmas songs, but it’s so cynical and funny it has to get a nod here. Slipknot’s Corey Taylor talks about the worst part of the holiday, which is apparently everything. The best is the chorus where he sings “If I drunk, then it ain’t Christmas,” which some people can empathize with being around your family and all. Whether you actually hate Christmas or just have a good sense of humor, you can’t help but chuckle when Taylor sings “Fa-la-la-la Go fuck yourself!.” Interesting to note, Taylor actually loves Christmas. The song is aimed at those who absolutely hate it. So if you need a break from all the cheery, cheesy holiday tunes, fire this one up and pour some extra rum in your eggnog.

“Santa Claws is Coming to Town” – Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper tries to make this Christmas classic creepy with his scary sneer and changing the spelling of “Claus.” It doesn’t exactly work, but it’s still entertaining to hear Cooper slay through the song. The best part comes at the end when he lists his devious plans for the night, which includes breaking all the toys, setting things on fire, and partying all night long. Otherwise, it’s a pretty straight forward cover of the song with lots of spiraling guitar solos to give it a hard rock edge. It may not become your new holiday favorite, but it’s still a lot of fun.

“Christmas with the Devil” – Spinal Tap

According to Spinal Tap even the devil celebrates Christmas and this song notes just how he does it. With “elves… dressed in leather
And the angels…in chains” you know this isn’t a holiday tune carolers will sing throughout the neighborhood. The song is full of “naughty” images like rancid sugar plums and stockings set on fire making it the most hellish song about Christmas to exist. Still, you have to to admit the song kicks ass and seems like something Jack Black would play at his holiday parties.

“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses

This is actually a song I hear every year, but had no idea it was by this band. What makes it so great is Patty Donahue’s deadpan delivery. She sounds snarky as she sings “We tried, we said we’d keep in touch/Didn’t, of course, ’til summertime/Out to the beach to his boat could I join him?/No, this time it was me/Sunburn in the third degree.” The tune is about a single woman who is sick of the mad rush of the holiday season and decides to sit this year out. Even though it has a “Bah humbug” vibe, the music is really upbeat and playful, making you want to dance and have a good time.

“Heavy Metal Christmas” – Twisted Sister

This is one of those songs that is so bad, it’s really funny. Dee Snider and the gang take “12 Days of Christmas” and inserts all the hair metal cliches: quarts of Jack, too many cans of hairspray, skull rings, leather jackets, and a tattoo of Ozzy to top it off. Sure, it sounds pretty bad and the whole idea is ridiculous, but when they start counting down the things a heavy metaler wants for Christmas, you can’t help but laugh a little. Ignore the off key vocals and the cheesiness of it and just enjoy how funny and silly it is. Besides, seven leather jackets sounds like a much better gift than seven swimming swans.

“It’s Gonna be a Punk Rock Christmas This Year” – The Ravers

It’s interesting to note a lot of people think the song is by the Sex Pistols, probably because there are so many references to them, but it’s by L.A. punks The Ravers. On this track, they talk about what it takes to have a punk rock Christmas, which includes the Queen singing “Anarchy in the UK,” being a Sex Pistol for a day, and Christmas trees adorned with safety pins. It’s a simple, upbeat song that takes holiday traditions and flips them on their head. It’s an underrated gem from 1977, but perfect for anyone who finds traditional Christmas tunes boring.

“Holiday Hate” – Psychostik

This is yet another song that talks about the annoying things about the holiday season, like fruitcake, Christmas music, and visiting grandma. It even pokes fun at the consumerism involved by saying all consumers do during the time is buy, buy, buy. Even though they take an extreme approach to the vocals and the music, it’s funny all the way through. The band actually has an entire Christmas album, but this track is my personal favorite along with “Red Snow,” which is of course about Rudolph murdering those who made fun of him.

Merry Christmas, everyone! If I missed any of your favorite rock Christmas song, let me know in the comments!