TOP 13 | Alternative Halloween Hits

HALLOWEEN IS COMING, the goose is getting fat, and we’re busy stockpiling produce from Pound-Savers to deter marauding trick-or-treaters from pumping untreated effluent through the Rogue letterbox.

To celebrate this most spooky of seasons, and of course the upcoming Rogue Halloween Hoedown, here is the ultimate guide to soundtracking your Halloween, and not a Ray Parker Jr in sight!

13. Gravediggaz – Diary Of A Madman

There just isn’t enough horrorcore in this world. Gravediggaz’ 1994 album 6 Feet Deep bridged the cartoon De La-splatter of early ’90s old skool with the grit’n’fear of gangsta rap, creating a world of paranorma-fuelled crime and violence. In many ways, this horror-movie bent allowed the group to exploit OTT levels of gruesomeness compared to other rap albums from the era.

12. Peste Noire – Spleen

The metalheads out there may also know La Sale Famine De Valfunde (for that is his name) from dreamy metalgaze outfit Alcest. Peste Noire is anything but dreamy, unless your dreams regularly involve being chased through a pentagram-lit cornfield by some fucked up old witch, in which case I am concerned for you.

11. Hot Blood – Baby Frankenstein


Respite from Peste Noire, – a terrifically cheesy disco number to get your blood boiling.

10. Aural Exciters – Spooks In Space

“Mama said there’d be days like these, but she never told me about…” this classic from the super-cool era of mutant disco. Reminds me of that kids’ TV show with the skeletons.

9. Stanley Holloway – With ‘er ‘Ead Tucked Underneath ‘er Arm

A surprisingly haunting little ditty from the dark days of the ’30s. Entertainer Stanley Holloway recounts this creepy tale of a nogginless Anne Boleyn come back to haunt those who did her wrong.

8. The Shaggs – It’s Halloween

A terrifying, caterwauling noise, indeed. But while this young girl trio could barely hold a note, let alone play in time with one another, they still somehow managed to find their ways into the hearts of ooh.. at least 50 outsider music geeks around the world. And yeah, it’s not like playing everything completely out of tune did Captain Beefheart any harm.

NB: we won’t be playing this at Rogue.

7. Desmond Dekker – Dracula


A cautionary tale from the king of ska. “Not being Dracula” should be an integral deal breaker in every pre-nup.

6. The Sounds from the Well to Hell


Story goes this diabolical hubbub came from a Siberian borehole that was drilled so deeply it purportedly managed to break into some sort of Boschean afterlife dimension. Once the paroxysms and giddy “I told you so” faces from the hard-line US Christian contingent had died down, it turned out to be one of the best hoaxes ever. Try telling that to whoever posted this video.

5. The Skatalites – Skalloween


It seems that the vintage ska brigade were as fond of supernatural japery as they were bad puns. But who can resist a pun, let alone this classic piece of horn-driven madness? Had to be done really.

4. Scientist – Blood On His Lips


More vampire-related ghastliness from Jamaica, courtesy of dub-fiddler and King Tubby protege, Scientist. Scientist has always been a keen conceptualist, with albums celebrating heavyweight boxing, the World Cup, space invaders and the wild west. On Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires, he litters his creations with echo-laden horror movie screams and growls.

Scientist releases “Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space” on Tectonic in November.

3. Electric Wizard – I, The Witchfinder


Steeped in smoke and Suspiria, Electric Wizard’s impossibly-sludgy sound is at once crushing and terrifying. Turn this one up when the doorknockers come round and they’ll think they’ve woken Yog-Sothoth.

2. The Sonics – The Witch


Sixties proto-punks The Sonics certainly know which side of the pumpkin pie their toast is buttered on. (Whaaaat?!- ed.)

1. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – Look Out There’s A Monster Coming

Completely ridiculous. But then, that’s Halloween for you.

words by Charlie Frame

Rogue’s Halloween Hoedown featuring Aghast, Trailer Trash Orchestra, Arc Generator & Richy Spitz is on Saturday 30th October at Club 85, Hitchin.

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TOP 10 | Tracks to make you even more upset

IT SEEMS OUR roving reporter and resident compiler of lists Matt Sanchez is experiencing a tough break. Not content with extended misty-eyed Kid A listening sessions whilst hiding under the bed, here’s a list of tracks that will do absolutely nothing to help exorcise those inner demons…

10. Aphex Twin – Ventolin (1995)

An Aphex classic, a track so caustic, asthmatic and unpleasant to listen to that he had no choice but to release it as a single to promote his up and coming album ‘I Care Because You Do’!

I’m not quite sure why the US military chose Prodigy tracks to torture and obtain information; put the happiest person you know in a cell with this pumping out for 15 minutes and they’d be a quivering wreck beginning for their life by the end. Good for angry depressives.

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9. Roxette – It Must Have Been Love (1990, originally 1987 with Christmas lyrics)

I love Roxette. They’re one of my guilty pleasures and I used to have a massive crush on Marie when I was younger.

Though the lyrics refer to a lonely winter’s day after the break-up of a relationship, “It Must Have Been Love” became a summer sensation in 1990. This song is all about the realisation of exactly what you’ve lost once it’s all over. That coupled with a perfectly crafted, 80’s tinged pop song makes for some moments of sobbing… Awwww

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8. Blur – This is a Low

Lyrics about England and weather – always pretty depressing..  What sets me off in this track is Graham Coxon’s swirling and epic guitar solo that hits you in the chest with a wave of emotion.

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7. Gary Jules – Mad World (2003, original by Tears for Fears 1982)

Who couldn’t connect with a song about looking out at an insane world from the eyes of a young adult? And if that wasn’t enough to get suicidal thoughts running through your mind, composers Michael Andrews and Gary Jules somehow went ahead and made it even more dark and dreary than the Tears For Fears original.

I’m assuming the first time anyone heard this song at the end of Donnie Darko they ran to their local record store in a hurry for another fix. Listening to the sounds of a dreamy piano mixed with Jules’ adolescent-like vocal chops is a perfect way to help a dark moment last just a little bit longer.

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6. Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely (2000)

There are seriously so many depressing Radiohead tracks to choose, which I guess is why Radiohead is the favoured band of many suicide candidate (taking over from Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks, which has always been a popular suicide track).

This dirge could put a serious damper on any situation.

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5. Muse – Microcuts (2001)

In the same vain as the Aphex Twin track, this is for those angry moments. A constant build up with some insanely unhinged and worrying falsetto from Matt Bellamy – this song really makes me quite violent and unpleasant before I pop and break down in the middle of all the havoc I’ve created.

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4. Johnny Cash – Hurt (2002, original by Nine Inch Nails 1994)

I can absolutely guarantee there isn’t a person with a soul who is able to hold back the tears on this one. Even if you don’t really know Johnny’s music that well, you’ll still somehow find yourself emotionally attached to every note and word.

Even worse is to watch the video with the images of a visibly ailing Cash looking back on his legendary career. This makes for some serious drama that’s impossible to deny. Let the waterworks fly!

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3. Trivium – Throes of Perdition (2008)

More anger here from the Trivium lads! A track about the spasm and pains of losing your soul, which is a lot like the feelings you get when your heart is ripped to shreds. This tied with metalcore screaming and riffery plus a bottle of gin – you’re in for a depressing evening!

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2. Puff Daddy – I’ll be Missing you by  (1997)

As far as it’s a tribute to someone you miss, this track surprisingly touched me in a way that I never thought it could. Taking melodies from the Police track ‘Every Breath You Take’ and the American Spiritual ‘Ill Fly Away’ as well as Barber’s Adagio for Strings’ (in the full version) with Diddy’s heartfelt raps, the track brings up memories of those passed on and love lost. Surprisingly touching.

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1. P!nk – Just Like a Pill (2001)

This track alone is enough to make you want to top yourself, but the one outstandingly teeth grinding feature of this track happens in the chorus. I know about it because back in the day this track would bombard you in EVERY FUCKING SHOP IN STEVENAGE TOWN CENTRE.

Okay, listening to the chorus, there’s an incessant high pitched bell that follows the beat – listen out for it and you’ll begin to feel the urge to kill cute animals.

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TOP 10 | Matt Sanchez’s Greatest Cover Versions

10. LOST PROPHETS – Cry Me a River (orig. Justin Timberlake ’02, covered ‘04)

I kinda loved the original, a massive ‘go fuck yourself’ to Britney Spears made massively public, it really dripped with the sweat of sweet revenge. The Lost Prophets’ cover still holds strong the song’s values but adds more grit and attitude as well as a solo for good measure – nice.

9. SNEAKER PIMPS – Firestarter (orig. The Prodigy ’96, covered ‘96)

A quality lounge version of Prodigy’s aggressive in-your-face super hit! Apparently the Sneaker Pimps called up Liam Howlett at 3 a.m. in the morning to apologise for the release of this promo 7” since he had heard that Liam didn’t like their version. TRUE STORY! This was also the last song that vocalist Kelli Dayton recorded with the band before she was asked to leave, apparently because Chris Corner thought they were being pigeon-holed with trip hop acts such as Portishead etc. And that was the end of that…

8. ORGY – Blue Monday (orig. New Order ’83,  covered ‘98)

This cover version became Orgy’s biggest hit and probably the biggest hit remake of the original song, triggering ANOTHER reissue in ’99. This record’s been reissued more times than a Zimbabwean bank note, and at nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, “Blue Monday” is one of the longest tracks ever to chart in the UK (behind The Orb’s 40 minute opus ‘Blue Room’, Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ and the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Private Psychedelic Reel’. It is recognized as the biggest selling 12″ single of all time, but as Factory Records were not members of the BPI, it was not eligible for an official Gold Disc. However, the Official UK Chart Company has estimated its total UK sales at well over one million.

7. KULA SHAKER – Hush (orig. Deep Purple ‘68, covered ‘97)

At the height of their fame (and more shameless promotion of their psychedelic rock album ‘K’) the Kula boys hit the chart with their great cover version of Deep Purple’s Massive US hit Hush. This was the group’s first release as Deep Purple, written and originally recorded by American country artist Joe South, the song was later covered by Billy Joe Royal as a short, snappy pop/soul number. Royal’s was the only version Deep Purple knew, and they extended it into a lengthy rock jam that included a 90-second Hammond organ solo! Hush missed the U.K. pop chart by miles. Much to the band’s astonishment, however, the song became a Top 5 smash in the United States and won them a deal over there. Kula Shakers hit version got to No. 2 in the UK charts in ’97.

6. BIS – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Orig. Joy Division ’79, covered ‘01)

Another track that has been covered many times by artists such as Paul Young, Simple Minds, The Blood Divine and such artists as Calexico, Squarepusher and Honey Root after Bis unleashed their lush 80s electroversion upon the world. A classic track in it’s own right, this Bis version has been hated on a lot, but to me makes perfect sense in the Factory records saga. Go and watch ’24 Hour Party People’, once decribed by Tony Wilson as “A film about the biggest cunt in Manchester player by the second biggest cunt in Manchester”

5. MUSE – Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You (orig. Frankie Valli ’67, covered ‘02)

A classic track that everyone knows, and possibly one of the most covered tracks in pop history. Muse’s version is sleazy and bipolar as well as being musically subversive and outright slap-happy at times. A lot of people at the time latched on to Muse’s version of Feeling Good, and this (and in my opinion, superior) cover was overlooked. It was originally feature as a b-side to their criminally underrated single ‘Dead Star’. Other big names to have covered this track include: Bad Manners, Pet Shop Boy’s, Manic Street Preachers, Lauryn Hill, Cake, Barry Manilow and Heath Ledger (for the film ’10 Things I Hate About You)

4. HAPPY MONDAYS – Step On (orig. John Kongos ’71, covered ’90)

The Happy Mondays covered the original song titled ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’, re-titling it “Step On” in 1990. It was originally intended as a contribution for a compilation CD for their US label Elektra, but they decided to release it as a single, and instead covered Kongos’ ‘Tokoloshe Man’ for the compilation. It really is twisting my Melon man!

3. JIMI HENDRIX – All Along the Watch Tower (orig. Bob Dylan ’67, covered ‘68)

The ultimate cover, as Hendrix made this small, spooky song from the John Wesley Harding album into the raging, epic, iconic soundtrack to the turmoil of 1968. I know this always tops best covers list, but there’s a good reason for that in that it’s awesome. Weird also that whenever Bob Dylan plays this live he does it more like Hendrix’s version!

2. TRICKY – Black Steel (orig. Public Enemy ’88, covered ‘95)

‘Black Steel’ is a cover of the legendary Public Enemy track ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos’. Featuring the vocals of his young lover of that time, Martina Topley-Bird. Tricky claimed that Public Enemy’s Chuck D was ‘my Shakespeare’. His tribute replaced the low-end, funky militancy of the hip-hop original with a hyper-agitated mesh of distorted electronica, asthmatic growls and, most daringly, Martina on lead vocals. Taken from the genius album Maxinquaye, this track really stands out from the crowd.

1. VOMITRON – Ghostbusters Theme (orig. Ray Parker Jr. ’84, covered ‘02)

Vomitron may not be a household name, but this experimental metal band have produced an epic cover of the classic ‘Ghostbusters Theme’, mixing in 80s synths, slap bass and multi-layered granite thrash riffs along with a unique vocal juxtaposition that I’m pretty sure was influenced by Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ and jacked up a couple of billion notches. This 2002 download–only single is a must hear – actually, fuck it, you may as well click here and hear it yourself. Ghostbusters was originally written and performed by Ray Parker Jr. sparking the catchphrases “Who you gonna call?” and “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost”. The song was a huge hit, staying #1 for three weeks in the US Billboard 100. The song earned Parker an Oscar nomination for “Best Original Song”.

TOP 10 | Matt Sanchez’s All Time Greatest Beards

10. DAVID BECKHAM (Footballer), Circa 2009
A new beard that has come to my attention after watching the footie the other night. An interesting messy/neat situation that looks like it might be being prep’d for some mad beard idea – so could go up in ratings soon – I particularly like the apparent squares on each cheek, but it told me that he keep knocking Victoria over. Nice
9. CRAIG DAVID (Musician Sic.), Circa 2002 – 2006
A beard cut so fine it’s almost not there! I like this beard for it’s minimalist qualities and the fact that the guy from Bo Selecta! has mentioned to me that it’s actually drawn on with a marker to make him look like he has a beard. Trendy
8. KERRY KING (guitarist), Circa 90’s – 00’s
There is nothing quite so American as bald men with big beards, and here the Slayer Axeman gets my vote as the best example. I have written to Zakk Wylde suggesting that he shaves his head to get on my list, but an angry reply from his publicist informs me that I should not be questioning his Style. I disagree. But Kerry (who I recently met in London) has let me touch his beard so there you go. Fruity.
7. MATTHEW DICKS (Star Bloke), Circa 2003 – Present
It all started with a trip to China, and his whispy beard has now become part of the Dicks family…He really wouldn’t be himself with out it – in fact, to those who say he should get rid, get told to fuck off. Respect.
6. MEL GIBSON (Actor, Racist), Circa Career
A strange beard case here that definitely gets my attention. Normally seen with no beard at all, obviously Mel Gibson. But as soon as he’s seen out with a beard you’d  easily mistake him for one of Saddam Hussains look-a-likes. Nacho Bodega, an ex-Hussain double has informed me that Mel ‘may or may not have spent time in Iraq in the late 80s. Confusing.
5. JAVIER BARDEM (Actor), Circa 1994
Fantastic, here we have a guy that suits beards and suits not having a beard! Unlike Gibson however, you call always tell that it’s him. I believe his beard was nominated for a ‘best supporting actor’ award in Spain before he made it into Hollywood. Prestigious
4. MICKEY ROURKE/MICHEAL JACKSON (Actor/Musician), Circa 2003 – Just recently
Ok, a shared place here on the top ten. These two people represent beards that are clearly fake or just look like transplanted hair lined up in place. You just know that if a razor touched their faces they would just bleed to death, and that after so many facelifts their beards are now behind their ears. These are men so desperate to be on my beard list, I used to get hampered by Michael at least twice a day on bebo, so here they are. Glorious.
3. HOMER SIMPSON (Reality TV Actor), Circa full existence
His beard grows back seconds after shaving, I’ve told him time and time again that he needs to let it grow and be free but apparently Marge gets bad stubble rash. Legendary
2. JAMES HETFIELD (Singer, Guitarist), Circa 88-93 & 96-98
Always a beard hero, he has consistently achieve the unachievable with his beard concepts. I have picked out two period of his beard career that really stand out for me. His up and over years, no chins fluff, just big chops going into an up and over ‘tashe. So influential that that guy in Emmerdale Farm copied his look. Notorious
1.  BRAIN BLESSED (Actor, Man and Legend), Circa 60s 70s 80s 90s 00s
5 DEACADES OF MAMMOTH BEARD ACTION. Truly a beard Hero that everyone can relate to. There are no word to write here, except to say that if you don’t own a Brian Blessed poster, you can actually order them online.

Slick-haired guitar hero Sancho Banchez spills the beans on the best beards around the world. We’re too good tobancho sanchez you, we really are…

beckham_1502690i10. DAVID BECKHAM (footballer), circa 2009

A new beard that has come to my attention after watching the footie the other night. An interesting messy/neat situation that looks like it might be being prepped for some mad beard idea, so could go up in ratings soon. I particularly like the apparent squares on each cheek – Nice.

craig_david9. CRAIG DAVID (musician (sic.)), circa 2002 – 2006

A beard cut so fine it’s almost not there! I like this beard for it’s minimalist qualities and the fact that the guy from Bo Selecta! has mentioned to me that it’s actually drawn on with a marker to make him look like he has a beard. Trendy.

sq_kerry_king_live_0506128. KERRY KING (guitarist), circa 90’s – 00’s

There is nothing quite so American as bald men with big beards, and here the Slayer Axeman gets my vote as the best example. I have written to Zakk Wylde suggesting that he shaves his head to get on my list, but an angry reply from his publicist informs me that I should not be questioning his Style. I disagree. But Kerry (who I recently met in London) has let me touch his beard so there you go. Fruity.

clcoker7. MATTHEW DICKS (star bloke), circa 2003 – Present

It all started with a trip to China, and his whispy beard has now become part of the Dicks family…He really wouldn’t be himself with out it – in fact, to those who say he should get rid, get told to fuck off. Respect.

mel gib6. MEL GIBSON (actor, racist), circa 2000’s

A strange beard case here that definitely gets my attention. Normally seen with no beard at all, obviously Mel Gibson. But as soon as he’s seen out with a beard you’d  easily mistake him for one of Saddam Hussains look-a-likes. Nacho Bodega, an ex-Hussain double has informed me that Mel ‘may or may not have spent time in Iraq in the late 80s. Confusing.

javier_bardem5. JAVIER BARDEM (Actor), circa 1994

Fantastic, here we have a guy that suits beards and suits not having a beard! Unlike Gibson however, you call always tell that it’s him. I believe his beard was nominated for a ‘best supporting actor’ award in Spain before he made it into Hollywood. Prestigious.

mickey_rourkemichaeljackson_beard4. MICKEY ROURKE/MICHAEL JACKSON (actor/recently deceased musician), circa whenever

Okay, a shared place here on the top ten. These two people represent beards that are clearly fake or just look like transplanted hair lined up in place. You just know that if a razor touched their faces they would just bleed to death, and that after so many facelifts their beards are now behind their ears. These are men so desperate to be on my beard list, I used to get hampered by Michael at least twice a day on bebo, so here they are. Glorious.

homer-simpson3. HOMER SIMPSON (reality TV actor), circa life

His beard grows back seconds after shaving, I’ve told him time and time again that he needs to let it grow and be free but apparently Marge gets bad stubble rash. Legendary

james-hetfield2. JAMES HETFIELD (singer, guitarist), Circa 88-93 & 96-98

Always a beard hero, he has consistently achieve the unachievable with his beard concepts. I have picked out two periods of his beard career that really stand out for me. His up and over years, no chin fluff, just big chops going into an up and over ‘tashe. So influential that that guy in Emmerdale Farm copied his look. Notorious

brianblessed1.  BRIAN BLESSED (actor, man and legend), Circa ’60s ’70s ’80s ’90s ’00s

FIVE DECADES OF MAMMOTH BEARD ACTION. Truly a beard Hero that everyone can relate to. There are no words to write here, except to say that if you don’t own a Brian Blessed poster, you can actually order them online.

words by Matt Sanchez