By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Photo courtesy New West RecordsSCARY WHO: GWAR
SCARY HOW: Scary-gross
SCARY WHY: One of the most disgusting live acts in the Western Hemisphere; ejaculates enough fake (?) semen at each concert to feed every below-poverty-line family in Texas for two weeks; common cultural touchstone for Jello Biafra, Jacques Cousteau and HP Lovecraft; pioneered televised daughter sacrifice on MTV years before The Apprentice or Fear Factor; told OC Weekly, "[We] support George Bush. Every vote for George Bush is another dead Iraqi baby or just a dead baby in general . . . it's almost as murderous as the new GWAR tour!"
SCARY LYRIC: "Maggots! Maggots!/Maggots are falling like rain!/Putrid pus-pools vomit blubonic plague/The bowels of the beast reek of puke!"
MITIGATING FACTOR: Slymenstra Hymen, hot-cha!
SCARY WHO: Insane Clown Posse
SCARY HOW: Scary-duh
SCARY WHY: Combines the dignity of Scientology with the relevance of nu-metal and the substance of junk food; offers the only institutional alternative to prison and the military for a huge 13-25 demographic; heralds America's acceleration toward total collapse by being not only famous but also financially viable; cultivates fans so suggestible they rescued a dying soft-drink brand from obscurity upon Clown Posse orders yet chooses not to instruct these same fans to rescue certain basic elements of hygiene or classical education; voted worst band in any genre ever of all time by several magazines and planets; makes Slipknot look like the Velvet Underground.
SCARY LYRIC: "A head from a newt, a wing from a bat/A tongue from a snake, a tail from a rat/A neck from a chicken, an eye from a crow/And a little bitty-little itty drip of Faygo!"
MITIGATING FACTOR: Secretly drawing their audience toward Christ's redemption.
SCARY WHO: Black Sabbath
SCARY HOW: Scary-heavy
SCARY WHY: Definitive scary older-brother-with-towel-stuffed-under-bedroom-door band; revelatory philosophical moment with Geezer Butler in 1968: "If people pay to see scary movies, why wouldn't they pay to listen to scary music?"; abandoned vague language of psychedelia to write clearly and vigorously about heavy drug use and Satan; birthed an entire new genre of music from the song "Hand of Doom"; dragged fake Stonehenge set on lengthy tour and abandoned it at a loading dock; provided psychological foundation for sitcom star Ozzy Osbourne to bite the heads off animals.
SCARY LYRIC: "Big black shape with eyes of fire/Telling people their desire/Satan sitting there he's smiling/Watches those flames get higher and higher/Oh no no please, God, help me!"
MITIGATING FACTOR: Flute solo on "Solitude."
SCARY WHO: The Misfits
SCARY HOW: Scary-sad
SCARY WHY: Invented "horror"-core by playing faster than the Damned; invented devil-lock haircut by turning a mullet 180 degrees; invented shameless plundering of a once-respectable legacy when Jerry Only couldn't get a real job after Danzig moved on; released 99-cent-store versions of actual Misfits music over and over for years; lent little-known utility member to little-known useless website conservativepunk.com; scheduled (without Danzig) 25th anniversary tour that managed to last three years; prevented a million beady-eyed middle school geeks from ever buying a Wire record or colorful T-shirt.
SCARY LYRIC: "Evil is as evil does/And who but me could write this book of cruel?/I send my murdergram to all these monster kids/It comes right back to me and it's signed in their parents' blood!"
MITIGATING FACTOR: Arrested for grave robbing in New Orleans—one more thing Jerry Only denies he stole!
SCARY WHO: Alice Cooper
SCARY HOW: Scary-old
SCARY WHY: Ran against Nixon and lost; threw a live chicken into a crowd in 1969, where it met a heavy and metallic demise; was as creepy as Lou Reed but used smaller words and bigger guitars; hospitalized for alcoholism; got a star on the Walk of Fame; called musicians like Bruce Springsteen "treasonous morons" for mixing pop and politics; had this conversation with an Australian interviewer:
AUSTRALIAN: "I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that you're a Christian, they're surprised to learn you vote George W. Bush, but they're absolutely shocked to discover you're a keen golfer."
ALICE: "That's the biggest shocker, I think. And that I'm a pretty good cook."
SCARY LYRIC: "Sluts and the hookers have taken your money/The queens are out dancing but now they're not funny/'Cause there goes one, walkin' away with your sonny/Cursing their lovers/Cursing the Bible!"
MITIGATING FACTOR: Golf, Christianity and Republicanism: the scariest things of all.