There are no tricks in this pre-Halloween musical bag. The Matinee October 28th edition is filled to brim with some spirited treats for you. Dig into this bag and come up with some garage rock, post punk, seasonal, French garage pop, and lo-fi alt pop.


DTCV – “Le Vampire” (Joshua Tree, California, USA)

RIYL: Hinds, Nous Non Plus

First things first. It’s pronounced “detective”. DTCV brings you a short but fun French garage-pop tune just in time for Halloween. Inspired in 2015 by Clifton Chenier’s French Zydeco and the Nouvelle-Vague-inspired Brian Jonestown Massacre album Musique de film imaginé, Lola G. began writing in her native tongue, and has continued that format here with “Le Vampire”.

Opening with an eerie guitar, steady beat, and some female-in-distress screams, DTCV set the stage for a lighthearted take on everyone’s favorite (or not) villain, the vampire. The screams aren’t enough to distract you from the sweet vocals flavored with 60’s garage pop. I retained enough French from my long ago studies to recognize one word, le couer, translating to “the heart”. That’s enough for me to thoroughly enjoy this tune and make me want to dig deeper into their catalogue. DTCV know not to overthink things by keeping it simple and campy here. Just perfect for your Halloween playlist. DTCV are Lola G. and James Greer.

While not on the album itself, “Le Vampire” has been released as a single alongside the duo’s latest release Confusion Moderne on Xemu RecordsAnd as an added interesting tidbit, the video for DTCV’s song “Histoire seule” is the first music video shot by Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh. If you’re in the UK, you can catch DTCV on their current tour.

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Monster Rally – “Moonlight Chase” (Los Angeles, California, USA)

RIYL: Ennio Morricone meets Attack of the Crab Monsters

If ever a “Moonlight Chase” had a soundtrack, this would be it. Monster Rally have managed to encapsulate all of the mystery, enchantment, and tension you’d expect out of a spooky night chase yet leverage it with some fun.

The moment the song starts, you can instantly recognize the homage paid to possibly those meddling kids and their dog or some of those 60’s B monster movies. The music seems to mimic tiptoeing through woods, while the tempo picks up to match the pace of the chase. This single off of the November 11th LP release Mystery Cove on Gold Robot Records is only one from a story arc about young lovers on an island getaway. Throughout the album, an arcane and mysterious presence in the jungle is revealed that leads our young lovers on an adventure of surf competitions (“The Big Surf”), voodoo terror (“Tourismo”), and plenty of slushy cocktails (“After Hours”).

You’ll want to take the day off work, mix some yummy, fruity rum drinks and fire up the old VHS machine when Monster Rally hit you with the nostalgia.

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No Monster Club – “Do The Mess Around” (Dublin, Ireland)

RIYL: The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean

No Monster Club brings you a fantastic lo-fi alt pop gem in “Do The Mess Around”. The song itself isn’t one for a Halloween playlist but how could we not include a band called No Monster Club?

Jangly bright guitar and midi-sounding keyboard open this track while a super catchy percussion beat and oh-so singable lyrics will have you catching on in about a nano-second.

There’s a definite surf-y beach vibe with some really nice harmonies and an occasional tambourine thrown in that keep things light and airy. This is a super fun and catchy song from Bobby Aherne, a Dublin musician with lots of albums under his belt. Under the moniker No Monster Club, he gets by with a little help from his friends.

“Do The Mess Around” is one of four songs on a soon to be released EP called “Where Did You Get That Milkshake?” For the first time ever, No Monster Club will be releasing in the US and also venturing into pressing this on some limited 7″ vinyl available from Emotional Response Records.

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The Ritz Club – “The Spooky Walk” (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

RIYL: The Monster Mash meets Nick Waterhouse

With an opening drum beat reminiscent of the song Monster Mash you know you’re in for a good time. The Ritz Club have gotten into the spirit of the season with their single release, “The Spooky Walk”. The release itself is a year old but this is the perfect time to revisit it.

Flashy horns and smooth crooning pump up the fun factor and lyrics containing items like “full moon”, “footsteps” and “man in black” set you up for some spoken word by a monster a la Frankenstein.

This song jumps to the top of my Halloween playlist as it has all of the requisite elements. The only thing it’s missing is a carefully choreographed dance. I can see the music video in my head already. The Ritz Club are Sean Jacobi, Ryan Jacobi, Kevin Jacobi, Sean Giddings, and Bobby Lord. You can give chase to this spooky single on the band’s Bandcamp page.

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ScotDrakula – “Disintegrator” (Melbourne, Australia)

RIYL: The Murlocs

ScotDrakula have just released their single “Disintegrator”. The second song released as a follow up to their 2014 self-titled debut album.

Fuzzed out guitars accompany lead vocalist Matt Neumann’s repeated refrain “Disintegrator, disinegrate me.” With definite garage rock overtones, this Melbourne alt rock band have infused their latest song with beautiful rawness and obvious frustration. The addition of a tambourine throughout adds a bit of light and brightness.

The band name, a riff of the name Scott Bakula of Quantum Leap fame, makes one feel like this is the kind of band you just want to hang out with. That’s not to say they don’t take their music seriously. Their debut album came out strong and the first new single released since then, “Skeleton Fever”, is just as good. But, they see humor everywhere, they like to have fun. How can you not like that? The first song without founding member Dove Bailey, ScotDrakula haven’t missed a beat, perhaps getting the emotional release out with “Skeleton Fever.” If this song is any omen (see how I snuck that in there?), good things are sure to keep coming their way.

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