The scare factor: DIY’s alternative Halloween playlist 2014

aDIY’s alternative Halloween playlist 2014

From Wolf Alice to the ever-terrifying Slaves, DIY picks out this year’s frightening faces.

Halloween always seems like it’s missing something. Sure, it’s packed with spooky-ass carved pumpkins, shiploads of E-Number flavoured orange cupcakes and that one guy who always re-wears their ghoulishly tight-fitting Scream costume. But there’s one big thing that’s monstrously overlooked; music. Unlike Christmas, with its twinkly festive ballads and mulled wine-spilling bangers, there’s not even a ghostly trace of a Halloween banger to be found (unless, err, you count the occasional sighting of this bad boy). Frankly, this is more bloody upsetting than a Vampire-clad party-goer whose had a dodgy bag of cheesy nibbles. 

So, here’s an effort to change things. Putting the Psycho in Syco (ahem) we’ve made a playlist of monster tunes as well as establishing whether it’s safe to bust some moves to it on the blood-spattered dancefloor; or to listen to it cowering behind some bloke’s Dracula cape.

Listen in full to DIY’s alternative Halloween playlist 2014

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There’s one thing about Royal Blood that makes them just a little bit frightening; how do they make such a blooming fantastic racket with only a guitar and a handful of drums? One of the products of this enigma is the thumping loud-quiet ‘Little Monster’, which explosively laces air-guitar worthy riffs with screaming drums. However, although its title suggests some element of scariness, it is of course a vertically challenged fiend, making it a little more family-friendly. [Listen]


Ooh-er, this one revolves around a motif that is essentially your Nan’s dog Patch roasted for some sadist’s supper (‘Chew it up…it all tastes the same’). Plus, it’s all served on a bed of clinically angry drums, with a jus of head-pounding guitar riffage. Yuck, and even the single cover is a pool of blood going down the drain (or, perhaps, as the faint-hearted indie-kid may hope, just an image of  what Harrison Peace’s plughole will look like when he ditches his caustic orange hairdye). This one needs a muzzle and a serious parental warning. [Listen]


When you go down to the woods today, you’re sure to get a surprise. It ain’t a bloody teddy bear either, instead it’s a wolf’s howl of copiously distorted guitars and a continuous stream of Ellie Rowsell’s screams. Extra scare points are also awarded for the image conjured up by ‘Moaning Lisa’ (and, it’s a fantastic pun that would definitely tickle Da Vinci). However, slower moments stuffed with sweeter vocals soften it up a little. [Listen]


Remember, way before the ethereal wooziness of ‘Still Life’, the spaced-out beauty of third album ‘Luminous’ and the duets with Florence Welch, when the Horrors were bat-shit scary? No? Listen (or try to) to ‘Thunderclaps’. Soak up the gothic-gospel harmonies, the creepy-crawly vocals, and the insane organ riffs. ‘One more for the chopping board’ ain’t talking about another butternut squash, by the way. Eternal purgatory must be less frightening. [Listen]


Every song from Savages’ debut album is right in your face. BAM there’s a migraine-inducing bassline, SLAP there’s a caustic guitar riff to slash your eardrums and so on. Ironically, the one that fits the bill the most is – err – ‘No Face’. It’s dark, it’s fucking loud and Jenny Beth’s proclamation that “you have no face!” is so urgent and piercing that it forces you to bolt to a mirror and double-check that your noggin’s still on. [Listen]


Kids these days, eh? Spitting Hubba Bubba on the floor, keeping personal audio devices to a maximum and constantly glued to their cellular devices. The ones in Kent punks Slaves are slightly more sinister; THEY’LL TEAR YOU APART. Christ almighty, the snaking guitar riff and slamming drums make this one quite a ghoulish assault on the ears; although their recent bantering remark to U2 soothes the fear a little bit. [Listen]


What with all the apocalypse films and what-not floating around the culture-sphere at the moment, from the title Jamie T’s ‘Zombie’ sounded like it had the potential to turn legs to jelly. As banging as the old-school ska-shuffle is, however, it’s actually just a big ol’ clever metaphor for the lethargic days of post-adolescence. Jamie T’s sudden resurrection was quite shocking, though. [Listen]


Nick Cave’s solo stuff can be more frightening than a Lidl Basics pumpkin pie. His earlier stuff with The Birthday Party, post-punk squats, makes a Saw film look like Frozen. ‘Release The Bats’ is a catalyst to grab a ticket for Virgin Galactic and fly out to a atmosphere without sound. There’s a ton of scary words banded around (‘Her legs are chafed by sticky wings…sex vampire’) and there’s scary guitar and scary drums and OMG IT’S SO BLOODY SCARY. [Listen]

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