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The Mission Creeps: Halloween (Refractory) 

All Hallows' Eve lasts all year for Tucson horror-rock band the Mission Creeps. This excellent thematic album employs surf-rock, blues stomps, high-Gothic drama, sci-fi soundtrack music and rockabilly twang to help you get your spook on.

click to enlarge cd2.jpg

Many tunes are simply scary fun, such as the catchy opener "Halloween (Theme)." But the band makes horror-theme tropes symbolic for the sickness and depravity of so-called real life. "The Butcher" finds nasty serial-killer horror in the meat-packing industry. The sci-fi nightmare of "Space Probed" could be seen as a metaphor for Big Brother's violation of our privacy. And "Witches" depicts a witch hunt and trial, long an allegory for modern persecution.

Adding to the classic creepiness is a sound-effect-treated reading of Edgar Allan Poe's enigmatic "Shadow—A Parable." Then there's the 30-minute closer, "Land of the Departed," a frightening soundscape that could've been the soundtrack for a lost Dario Argento film.

Apparently, the Mission Creeps have been doing some paranormal investigations, too. The vibrato-laden instrumental "The Plum Room" uses recordings from the night guitarist-singer James Arrr and bassist Miss Frankie Stein spent in the haunted room of the same name at the Oliver House in Bisbee.

You can also buy a deluxe version of the album, with a customized flash drive that includes all sorts of extra goodies, including the title track from their next album, Midnight Blood.

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