Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Horror Punk: The Definitive History

Horror punk is a music genre that was defined by the bands the Misfits, The Cramps and seminally influential group The Damned, blending horror movie lyrical themes and imagery with musical influences from early punk rock, doo-wop, and, to a lesser degree, rockabilly.
Horror punk bands usually tell tales through their lyrics, which are often related to horror films, black humor, and horror stories or novels. Horror punk has traditionally used, amongst other horror influence, the aesthetics and themes of zombie films. Some bands base their whole genre on zombies, taking up the names zombiecore, horror punk/rock, deathrock, or monster rock. The horror punk genre has a thriving underground following, with websites and concert festivals, such as the Fiend Fest. The fan base has been tied to the resurgence of the closely-related genres, psychobilly and deathrock.

1 Horror hardcore
2 Bands
3 Horror Punk Fashion
4 See also
5 References

Horror hardcore
"Horror hardcore" is a term coined by Dwid Hellion that refers to a hybrid of horror punk and hardcore punk, typically crossover thrash. The Misfits's final album, Earth A.D., and the early work of Glenn Danzig's subsequent band Samhain inaugurated the style. Septic Death and Integrity also performed this sub-genre.

Some of the best known horror punk bands are The Misfits, Samhain, Nim Vind, Blitzkid, Wednesday 13, Frankenstien Drag Queens From Planet 13, Murderdolls, Hate the Living, The Necrophilicons, The Damned, The Ghouls, The Vampire Lovers, Schoolyard Heroes, Calabrese, Zombeast, The Order of the Fly, Awaken the Nightmare, Hour of the Wolf, Bloodslut!, The Crimson Ghost, Plan 9, Graves, Balzac, Breed Of Dawn, Dr. Chud's X-Ward, Hard Rock Zombie, The Infections, The Banner, At Our Heels, The Other, Nuke and the Living Dead, and Archfiends. The Misfits started a completely new genre that has influenced many bands of all different generations and musical genres. Samhain, Graves and Dr. Chud's X-Ward were all formed by former members of the Misfits. Famous ex-Misfits guitarist, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, formed his project Gorgeous Frankenstein, but even if it has theme based in horror, their music genre is not horror punk. The British group Screaming Dead have also been described as horror punk.[1]

Horror Punk Fashion
The best example of horror punk fashion can be found in the band The Misfits. While looking considerably similar to other late-1970s punk rock bands and fans, the band took a darker approach to its style. They wore predominantly black clothing, skeleton costumes, and makeup similar to that seen during the earlier half of the 20th century in horror films (characters such as Frankenstein or Dracula). Horror punk style also incorporates sexy items, such as fishnet stockings, corsets, and elaborate makeup. The use of occult and horror imagery is prevalent on T-shirts, buttons, patches and jewelery that contain images of films related to the scene (films staring Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, etc). Hair may be in mohawk form, teased out (see: deathhawk), or in the devilock style. Horror hardcore fans are typically more pared-down, sporting simply a black band t-shirt, jeans, and a black hoodie.

See also
Punk fashion
Shock rock
Misfits (band)

^ Ian Glasper, Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984, London: Cherry Red, 2004, p. 40.

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