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Psychobilly Trick or Treat

by Chuck Eddy

Psychobilly Trick or Treat

About this playlist

If you carved a pompadour into your pumpkin, odds are probably better than even that this playlist is for you. Chances are pretty good you're also a fan of The Cramps, who get three songs – more than anybody else here. That's because it's hard to think of a band dominating a musical style like they've dominated psychobilly, ever since a three-way between punk rock, rockabilly and grade-B horror movies (and eventually goth rock, when it happened) begat such a beast. They are predated here, though, by "She Said," a nutso 1964 ode to a one-night bedmate said to resemble a "can of that commodity meat" by probably legitimately psycho and definitely legitimately hillbilly West Virginia mountain-shack man Hasil Adkins, which The Cramps later covered.

British '80s pioneers such as The Sharks, Guana Batz and genre blueprint The Meteors are included as well, along with part-time psychobillies the Misfits (at Glenn Danzig's most Elvoid). Reverend Horton Heat, the Legendary Shack Shakers, Southern Culture on the Skids and Ghoultown demonstrate the inbred proclivities of sundry once (and perhaps future) Confederate states. California's Tiger Army; Denmark's Horrorpops and Nekromantix; and Australia's Living End represent a more fresh-faced, pop-punk-leaning wing of the movement. Halloweeny tunes from 45 Grave, Roky Erickson and ex-Nashville hopeful Jace Everett (in True Blood theme mode), if not psychobilly per sé, should meet with the approval of anybody who is.

And if the beat don't get y'all shakin', such seasonally festive topics as graveyards, swamps, nightmares, zombies, skeletons, witches, one-eyed monsters, headless horsemen, teenage werewolves, tombs, coffins, demons, she-devils, ghouls and ghosts dang well should.

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