YOU may be surprised to know that Halloween, the time of year when ghoul is cool, is not always beloved by goths. As a bit of a secret goth myself, I speak with some authority when I say this. Which way you go depends on whether you think the type of people who bullied you at school going all Robert Smith for an evening is bizarrely entertaining (they’ll never work fishnets like you do, babes) or just down-right offensive cultural appropriation.
Vibing out to genuinely terrifying music might be a way of life for some, but for you part-timers, this time of year is probably the best moment for some entry-level schooling on some seriously gloom tunes. We’re talking musical hexes that go far beyond Danzig by the way, who isn’t really scary at all, apart from maybe the fact that his twisted mind conceived of not only that solo classical album Black Aria, but that he sought to punish the world even further with Black Aria II. In a musical world where devastatingly boring genres like witch house are busy clogging up Pitchfork and giving the dark arts a bad name, it’s a time of year to get really real, douse yourself in fake blood and alienate some squares. I’m feeling generous, so here’s a quite literally K I L L E R selection of true goth bangers for these undeniably dark times.
Disclaimer: I can’t guarantee sticking any of this on the stereo is going to induce that woman on her eighth WKD dressed as a sexy cat to see your dark heart for what it truly it is, or that, after listening, you won’t slack off the party altogether and decide that a blood ritual in your mum’s bathroom is probably the order of the night instead.
Alien Sex Fiend – ‘She’s a Killer’
ASF were part of the goth explosion of the ’80s that, thanks to the persistent influence of certain music rags desperate to tag and name any trends to hype, were bizarrely named ‘positive punk’ when in fact it was anything but. This whole song sounds like a really unpleasant ordeal, which is really no less than you’d expect from a dalliance with an Alien Sex Fiend.
Bauhaus – ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’
The creaking build up of this song just about kills me every time, all nine minutes of it, guaranteed to empty out your living room of any part timers in the race to oblivion. The song reveals itself slowly, and trust me, it’s worth the wait. Bauhaus were from Northampton, what this may say about their gloomy disposition I’ll leave up to you to decide.
Sisters of Mercy – ‘Alice’
A serious band for serious goths who’ll add a nifty lace hem to anything you can give them in seconds flat. Formed in Leeds in 1980, they’ve had more records than I can count and not all of them are great, or even good, but this is a banger from a 1992 record that still stands up well as a ridiculous camp gloom artefact.
Killing Joke – ‘Love Like Blood’
Total headbanger synth ’80s goth vibes from Killing Joke here, another home-grown band (formed in Notting Hill no less) that used keyboards in new and terrifying ways, going on to influence pretty much every musician ever to wear white make-up since. As was often the trajectory with bands of this ilk, with more than fourteen albums under their belt there is a lot of crud of pretty much every style to wade through, but it’s totally worth it.
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