Its prime Halloween party season and you know what that means; having to hear the same basic Halloween songs at every 99 Cent Store cob-web drenched house party you attend from San Clemente to Yorba Linda. For music fans and Halloween enthusiasts who are still embarrassed by their drunk friends attempts at reciting predictably bad lyrics and synchronized zombie moon walks last year (aka ME), here are 13 punk and goth jams fit to pump up your old playlist and please any die hard Halloween queen. Grab the 24 pack of Pabst and call an Uber, because these 13 spooky goth and punk Halloween jams are ready to get your party started.
Ministry: Every Day is Halloween
Electro-goth legends Ministry wrote many classics, but none as perfect for Halloween festivities as "Everyday is Halloween." Fast forward to the Goth DJ scratch interlude if you need further evidence.
Lydia Lunch: Spooky
Lydia Lunch put her spin on the groovy Halloween staple "Spooky." Pretty true to the original, but now with 100% more Lydia Lunch!
Prayers: Gothic Summer
Since its been 90+ degrees nearly every day this October, there's a good chance you'll spend Halloween at a pool party. A club banger like Gothic Summer can perfectly bridge your fall fantasies with Southern California reality. San Diego based cholo-goth-killwave band PRAYERS is probably the freshest thing to happen to dark music in the last 10 years, don't sleep on a chance to play this (and their entire catalog) before hipsters Columbus these guys at Beach Goth later this month.
Diamanda Galas: Double Barrel Prayer
Complete with Operatic screams and shrieks, creepy sounding prayer mixed over dark 80's synth, garbled vocal freak outs, and heavy danceable beats, "Double Barrel Prayer" might be the best Goth dance song ever committed to wax. Sure to get everyone on the dance floor, scare the shit out of your work friends, and impress the music snobs in your life. If possible, have goblets of red wine handy.
45 Grave: Partytime
First appearing in the 1985 campy punk rock horror film Return of the Living Dead, "Partytime" blasted during an on screen hang-out-turned-zombie-apocalypse, solidifying its place in punk history as the original dark party anthem. As I listen through headphones and type this in a quiet library, I've started head banging and chugging my coffee.
The Specials: Ghost Town
If you live in Orange County, its mandatory that you play at least one ska song at your party. This one rings particularly close to home with the mentions of clubs closing and dance-floor fights. "Ghost Town" is a classic, mega danceable, and drenched in creepy vibes, including a sample of wind in a UK street.
The Alleycats: Nightmare City
Nightmare City has everything a good Halloween song should: zombie and devil references, someone howling at a moon, and plenty of dancy hooks. Not to mention that Alleycats bassist and vocalist Dianne Chai is one of the most amazing and unsung musicians of the early LA punk scene.
Bauhaus: Bella Lugosi's Dead
Nine straight minutes of creepy but chill dance magic set to reverb, spacey echo, distant cross-stick snare, and recurring chants of "UNDEAD." I'm almost positive they recorded a bat flapping its wings and the screams of 10,000 ghosts as a backing track. This song is especially great to play at the end of the party when one committed dancer remains; flailing around in all their Halloween glory.
The Ramones: Pet Sematary
You can never go wrong with the Ramones. You can never go wrong with 1980's Steven King. Put them together and you have Halloween gold.
Siouxie and the Banshees: Spellbound
If there was ever and anthem written to over-apply eyeliner and simultaneously improv dance as if you were clearing cobwebs out of a forest cemetery, this is it. Play loud and unapologetically.
Scary Bitches: Creepy Crawlies
This band is basically Gwar for Hocus Pocus fans. All the best Halloween tropes (literally every last one of them, and then some) set to loud keys and chunky riffs, what more could you ask for?
The Sisters of Mercy: Lucrecia, My Reflection
With themes like big machines, possession, and fire, Sisters of Mercy's "Lucrecia, My Reflection" has been an underground Halloween party staple, despite the fact that "Dance the ghost with me" is probably a poetic critique of war and industrialization and not a spooky call to the dance floor. Pass the punch!
There are so many great songs that I couldn't fit in this list. Did I miss your favorite goth or punk Halloween song? Leave a link in the comments section.