I Smell Synthwave and Candy

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Back around October 25th, I went a little bit off the deep end on Twitter in terms of holidays with their respective timings and observations. People were complaining about there being Christmas decorations on display before Halloween, there was Halloween candy at stores in August, and clearly capitalism just continues to go unchecked to the point where holidays and seasons don’t really matter much anymore. Did they ever really matter?

That said, there were a number of Halloween related albums which were released within the synthwave scene around the end of September, and into October, but I have to admit that I just really wasn’t feeling the spirit of the season at the time. In fact, by the end of October, I decided it was best to take a month long hiatus from the internet and so I therefore celebrated “No Net November” by staying off social media. Now that I’ve returned, and have more or less gotten back on my feet in more ways than one, I’ve suddenly got that feeling back in terms of wanting to indulge in a little bit of Halloween… in December.

Honestly, I still see no problem with this and so I stick to my previously mentioned tweet; I don’t think you really need to let holidays and seasons dictate when you should and can enjoy something. We’re a couple months removed from the “spooky season” and Halloween, yes, but does that mean I shouldn’t be able to go back and enjoy something now which was meant for only then? Just as how you can eat a turkey dinner every other day of the year besides Thanksgiving, and how you should show someone you love them every other day besides Valentine’s Day, I believe that you should be able to enjoy scary synthwave music any day of the year as well; that’s what darksynth is for, no?

Anyway, here’s a fun size sampling of Halloween related synthwave albums which I enjoyed along with me comparing them to brands of candy (with no gimmick infringement intended towards OSW) just because, hey, why not?

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The Horrornauts: A Night with The Horrornauts

a0690430991_10I’m not usually one for lists, but I feel compelled in this case to break down the following in such a way as to the Three Reasons Why I Love The Horrornauts:

  1. They remind me of a band that would play during the horror host segments of a cheesy midnight movie. You know the kind I’m talking about, right? Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? TNT’s MonsterVision? USA’s Up All Night? Well, then again, maybe you don’t because they’re not as prevalent as they used to be although there’s still some out there carrying the freak flag high. Count The Horrornauts among them, even if perhaps that were not their original intention, because they’ve certainly got that aesthetic down.

2.  They’re like synthwave meets psychobilly. I went through a bit of a weird musical phase during the late 90’s/early 2000’s which saw me digging hard on 1950’s surfer rock, rockabilly and then, by extension, the more modern equivalent in psychobilly. It all more or less started one night when a friend of mine, who often listens to more “out there” music, introduced me to the band Deadbolt. Well, the movie “Six-String Samurai,” which featured The Red Elvises, also helped. Anyway, listening to The Horrornauts transported me back to those days.

3. They’re uniquely original. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t saying ‘uniquely original’ kind of redundant?” Well, like my friend Echosynthetic said in his review over on The Horrornaut’s Bandcamp page: “The Horrornauts have managed what most bands struggle with… using their influences without becoming an imitation.” Now, while I can’t rightfully sit here and tell you exactly who or what their influences are I can at least tell you who and what they remind me of as I’ve already done above. Is it accurate? Maybe. Maybe not.

The point is this: in a genre filled with neon sunsets, grids, palm trees and fast cars there exists certain acts which don’t tie themselves down so tightly to synthwave in terms of making the synth the driving force behind the music. It’s there, for sure, in the music of The Horrornauts but they’re not subservient to it as they instead harness it for their own purposes to make some killer music.