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Various Artists

Halloween Hootenanny

Review by Rick Damigella

A few years back, Rob Zombie started his own Zombie A Go-Go Records label. Amongst the first releases was this ghoulish treasure trove of tracks featuring some of the best and scariest “Zombified” music bubbling under the radar like a witches cauldron. The focus is heavily in the realm of psychobilly and horror surf. If you love your guitars twangy and your music on the creepy side, this is a disc that will thrill, chill and delight you to your macabre soul.

If there is one thing Rob Zombie knows better than most in music is finding scarified music and talent that plays it. This is one hell of a fun album for Halloween or really any time of the year if conjuring surf board slinging zombies is your thing.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Zacherle-Halloween Hootenanny

This is a spoken word and scary sound effects laden intro to a raucous album of gruesome delights from “The Cool Ghoul.”
Rob Zombie Featuring the Ghastly Ones-Halloween (She Get So Mean)

Rob Zombie lends his trademark vocal yowl to an otherwise instrumental based band to augment their sound and deliver a track that turns a Munsters-esque surf track into a Zombified Halloween go-go song.
Reverend Horton Heat-The Halloween Dance

The Reverend calls you to worship at his evil altar of scary countrified boogie, Grab your ghoul and spin her around.
The Bomboras-A Fistful of Terror

The Bomboras are cut from the same vein as label mates The Ghastly Ones. These ghoulish tiki idol worshipers also put a devilish spin on the classic surf sound.
Southern Culture On The Skids-Werewolf

SCOTS howl at the moon in this mid-tempo twangy shuffle.
Satan's Pilgrims-Gravewalk

The instrumental spooky surf rock continues with this creepy scream filled number.
Frenchy-Ribcage Mambo

Nothing is as scary as the sound of a vibraphone in a horror-tinged lounge number. You can just imagine the player banging out the notes on a skeleton’s rib cage.
Rocket From The Crypt-I Drink Blood

Distorted guitars and vocals take the twangy “blood beach” sound into a punkier realm.
The Amazing Crowns-Little Demon

Demonically good fun in a rockabilly vein, throat slashing screamed vocals add to the atmosphere.
Swingin' Neckbreakers-No Costume, No Candy

Sinister swamp boogie shuffle riffs deliver a fun number about the importance of wearing a costume while trick-or-treating.
Los Straightjackets-The Munsters' Theme

Wicked laughter kicks off this familiar theme. The song that inspired much of this album has never sounded better. Some seriously sinister guitar slinging is included.
Zacherle with Southern Culture On the Skids-Sinister Purpose

The spoken words of Zacherle over an evil SCOTS riff is the motif here. Think gothic beat poetry set to backwoods electric twang.
The Born Losers-Werewolves On Wheels

The song title alone should inspire a band of the same name. Fuzz tone guitar shreds its way down the hairy highway.
Deadbolt-Psychic Voodoo Doll

The horror surf theme here is accentuated with evil vocals about a psychic friend you don’t want to have.
The Ghastly Ones-Banshee Beach

Vampiric go-go dancers and undead surfers rejoice. Here is your soundtrack. This is based on a Dick Dale inspired riff of which the King of the Surf Guitar would approve.
Dead Elvi-The Creature Stole My Surfboard

I hate it when the Creature bogarts my board. Some of the least scary vocals on the disc, but it is good clean psycho-surf fun.
Davie Allen and the Phantom Surfers-Extrasensory Deception

The legendary twang-and-fuzz guitar slinger rocks up one of the most killer instrumentals on the album.
The Legendary Invisible Men-Spooks' Night Out

One would think after an album full of red tide rock and roll you would get tired of the theme, but this album keeps delivering the shocking sounds and never gets dull for it.
Zacherle-Happy Halloween

The ghoulish poet is back to close the disc as it began.
 
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