This week we conjure up some devils, killers and musical gore which we recommend downloading (legally, of course) or streaming as you compile your Halloween playlist.
"Ice Cream Killer" By Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
We start our Halloween picks with a return from the grave of extended hiatus. Jon Spencer’s crew rise from their eight-year layoff with a reverb-heavy kick in the ass – there are bluesy riffs but as always, this band throws blues and rock and punk and a garage grind into a blender, switches it on and right when the puree froths up, they rip the lid off and let it spray. Oh yeah, it’s messy but ain’t that what Halloween is all about?
"Flesh and Bone" by The Killers
The self-confessed genius Brandon Flowers is back with his band and chopping-out a new batch of songs bent on bringing the synthesizer back as a rock staple. This Las Vegas outfit has never been short on dynamics and Flowers’ voice soars over the changing tempo of the pop/rock track. Flowers and The Killers are coming off of a four-year hiatus but they return to form – even naming the album, “Battle Born,” a phrase from the Nevada state flag. The song’s composition recalls the golden age of the early ‘90s when artists such as Annie Lennox were converting New Wave into vibrant forays of genre-mixing pop.
"A Night with the Jersey Devil" by Bruce Springsteen
Just for Halloween, The Boss gives you a special, tasty treat. (OK, the song was originally released for Halloween in 2008, but it’s just as cool today). It’s a fuzzy, blues stomper where Springsteen is possessed by the spirit of the Garden State urban legend/ghost story, the Jersey Devil. He tells the Devil’s story through a harmonica mike and it gives the track a deliciously skuzzy tone. It helps when he screams out lyrics like, “16 witches cast 16 spells. Make me guitar outta skin and human skull. Sing you a song like the wind in the sandy loam.” Whether 2008 or today, The Boss is still the man.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge