30 Days of Music: Epilogue – Songs that Scare or Disturb You

Well, the official challenge is over, a big thank you if you stuck with me the whole way through! I hope you found my choices interesting, I think if I did a similar thing again I’d use a bit more flexibility/individuality in the categories to prevent it getting to be a chore.

And in that vein, yes, the challenge is complete but along the way I thought a good category would have been scary or disturbing songs. Songs you may not want to hear very often, some no more than once, but which I think should be listened to to appreciate that music is not always a positive uplifting thing and can also engender other, much darker emotions.

I urge you to try and listen to these (all the way through if you can), think of it as a challenge for you dear reader after the challenge I have been doing for the last month.

1. Throbbing Gristle – Hamburger Lady (1978)

Man, this is a creepy song, woozy atmospherics, Genesis P. Orridge’s plaintive distorted lyrics describing a very badly burnt woman (hence Hamburger Lady, eww).

2. Suicide – Frankie Teardrop (1977)

Widely seen as one of the scariest songs around, the subject matter (a vietnam veteran kills his wife and child then himself and goes to hell) and Alan Vega’s yelps and screams serving to scare the shit out of the unsuspecting listener. I don’t anticipate many lasting the full ten minutes!

3. The Special AKA Feat. Rhoda Dakar – The Boiler (1982)

I first heard this on Annie Nightingale’s Radio 1 show back in 1982 and as an innocent 14 year old it scared the bejesus out of me, so much so that I had not considered ever listening to it again, but for the purposes of this post felt I had to, I thought it might not be as bad now as a seasoned adult, but no, it’s still pretty horrible. The first 4 minutes are a nice little ska tune with the story spoken over the top and then it all goes bad. Listening to it now the horror doesn’t go on for as long as I remember but it’s still really disturbing and even now I’m surprised they got away with playing it on national evening radio nearly 30 years ago!

4. Lustmord – Black Star (2000)

Finally I’ve chosen a piece of “dark ambient” music. I don’t actually find this one scary or disturbing, in fact I love it, but it’s certainly very creepy and certainly fits in with this post, I’d be interested to know what you folks think of it. To me it sounds like the sounds and atmospherics of hell, some unidentified giant demon roaring in the background. 👿

There are tons of scary and disturbing music videos out there but this post is restricted to the songs themselves, I may do a post in the future regarding videos.

Anybody got any other tunes that they find disturbing?

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  1. #1 by atleastimhousebroken on April 11, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    When I was listening to these, somehow I restarted Hamburger Lady when I started up Frankie Teardrop, just damn, I caught it after a few seconds but decided to let it roll. Somehow it works, and much more creepy, looks like I’m not sleeping tonight, lol. I clicked on the link to another song by Throbbing Gristle called Slug Bait, that was some damn disturbing stuff, It made some of that Norwegian Black Metal seem tame.
    I heard this song called Shatter by Triptykon recently and it was pretty scary, in a claustrophobic sense( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrRi25jZRFY) and also Black Lake Nidstang by Agalloch is a pretty creepy song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGTLZJrJGAY) but also intensely beautiful at the same time.
    Some other songs that creeped me out some were Careful with that Axe, Eugene by Pink Floyd, that screaming part is imbedded in my brain. And Sun (O)))) is some pretty creepy stuff. I guess I’m a bit desensitized, some death metal I like has potential to be disturbing, but I just find it ridiculous and funny. About the only music that really scares me is the songs that you posted here and the truly evil black metal. Seriously, I wish I never listened to Frankie Teardrop all the way through, that’s some f’d up stuff, and the other Throbbing Gristle song was tweaked. Great post, it’s nice to know that some music can still honestly disturb me. Your experiment was quite enjoyable. I might have to do one of these also in the near future, it seems like fun.

  2. #2 by Rich on April 11, 2011 - 8:08 pm

    Yeah, you’re spoilt for choice for disturbing stuff with Throbbing Gristle! I love Black Lake Nidstang, haven’t listened to any Agalloch for a few weeks, I should rectify that I think!
    I thought about some Sunn O))) stuff, Aghartha off Monoliths & Dimensions is pretty intense. I know what you mean with regards the death metal scene, the subjects are disturbing but it all seems too “teens trying to be shocking” and it becomes comedic.

    Thanks, I quite enjoyed doing it but it did become a bit of a chore in the latter stages, I found the best way was write as many day’s posts as possible while I was in the writing mood which meant I could just publish them each day.

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