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.

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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