Centretown Records has done it again! The wonderful people who brought you the 2013 Christmas challenge now present Ottawa’s musical contribution to Halloween.

This year’s Halloween recording challenge delivers 14 songs from local, near-local and formerly local Ottawa musicians. There are a lot of really great contributions ranging from originals and covers, but three stand out, like a blood donor at Dracula’s Halloween bash. Delicious. An original, a remake of a classic and lastly a cover.

The original, and maybe my favourite song of the entire compilation, “The Monster and The Bride” by Devil and the Anti-Chris. If you can’t guess this is Devin and Chris Cook, a married couple, singing lovely romantic Halloween song about finding love in the graveyard. The duo did a great job lyrically, “We were buried, now we’re married, true love found in the cemetery, love like this will never die, I’ll be your monster, I’ll be your bride.” Never have sweeter things been said at Halloween.

The remake or reinvention is The Corghans’ “Halloween Bop.” It’s a wonderful new spin on The Ramones’ super catchy and anthemic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Once again the lyrics is really what makes this song stand out. “Hey ho it’s Halloween, hey ho it’s Halloween, they’re carving up a pumpkin, putting on their face paint, kids are losing their mind, Halloween Bop.” Listening to the song makes me want to see a bunch of kids in their costumes pogoing their hearts out.

Now for the cover that really grabbed my attention. Der Faden took at stab at The Misfits’ “Skulls.” It is much slower, softer and features echoey female vocals. I doubt you will ever hear “collect the heads of little girls and put them on my wall, hack the heads off little girls and put them on my wall” sound so cute and so eerie all at once.

Honourable mention to Left-For-Dead Walker’s chilling tale of all the ways to kill her ex in “Nightmare Ex” and Nightshades’ “Nightshade Nightmare” for being so creepy and poised to haunt my dreams.

The Centretown Recording Alliance, is a group of musicians from Centretown Ottawa (current or past) who take part in regular recording projects as a means of challenging each other’s creativity and encouraging musical growth. The Alliance includes members from many established Ottawa bands.

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