Bayou City

10 Perfect Houston Acts for Your Halloween Party

Halloween is the scariest holiday on the calendar, though anyone who has braved a Black Friday sale might beg to differ. Either way, Halloween is a time when revelry and fear blend into a sort of festively nightmarish concoction. This can result in any number of Halloween parties. As is the case with any party, but particularly on Halloween, musical selection is key. Fortunately, for those who like to think local, we’ve come up with ten local acts who are perfectly suited to headline your next Halloween house party. (This list is in alphabetical order).

Halloween is a time when the unique and strange becomes mainstream, and it doesn’t get a whole lot more unique and strange than Ak’chamel. Clad in tribal gear and some pretty terrifying masks, this trio has been dropping tracks like wild over the past couple of years. That includes, most notably, “The Man Who Drank God,” which is about as haunting a track as you’ll hear in 2016. Plus, at times, it kinda sounds like the theme music from Breaking Bad. Ak’chamel’s lyrics are often impossible to decipher, and the music is tribal and experimental, so this ain’t exactly a Halloween party singalong. That said, the band ranks among the most distinct Houston has to offer.

This is not to say Blackgrass Gospel is the most “evil” or “immoral” band in town, but they did host a show this time last year called “Hellbilly Halloween,” which tried mightily to live up to its name. They rub elbows with the sinister bluegrass outfit The Goddamn Gallows. Their songs feature zombies, sinners swinging from ropes and the not-too-friendly inhabitants of “the upside down.” And when they’re not doing it onstage, they’re in the crowd at shows raisin’ Cain. Having said all of that, they’re a bunch of nice guys that’ll tip a beer or two with you at their favorite haunts, places like Bub’s in Alvin or Union Tavern in Webster. They’re hard-working, oft-performing pros who are going to give you every cent’s worth of the guarantee you pay them. Just be sure the show rider includes pentagram candles and a guest list vacancy for Cthulhu.

Named for an ancient bird of prey, Black Kite is Vicky Lynn and James Templeton, one of the most unique duos in Houston. The Houston Press, in a recent review, cited the duo’s music as “shadowy,” which is about as fitting a way to describe the music as any. Coupled with Lynn’s harmonies, Black Kite pulls from an array of genres, including industrial, rock and even indie-pop, in producing haunting music that is tailor-made for a low-key, intimate Halloween-night gathering.


The background story behind this band’s name is pretty horrific, one the Press has previously covered in graphic detailBut any band whose name is derived from some pretty intense sadomasochism is one tailor-made for the darkest holiday of them all. Founded by Richard Ramirez more than 25 years ago, Black Leather Jesus is a staple on the Houston metal scene. Be warned – their live show is not one for the squeamish or weak at heart.

Considering they’ve been in the game for nearly 35 years, it’s no surprise Houston’s own D.R.I. are considered among the pioneers of “crossover thrash metal.” Spike Cassidy and Kurt Brecht, the two founding members still active in the band, have crafted a sound that pulls from a variety of genres, including punk, thrash and more traditional heavy metal. The result is a sound perfectly suited to an up-tempo Halloween party. The music is loud, the content is dark and the energy is high. It’s basically Halloween come to life in musical form.

The best house-party music straddles the line between entertaining those in attendance and not taking them away from why they came in the first place — namely, mingling with friends, family and assorted well-wishers. Houston-based power trio Fiddle Witch and the Demons of Doom walk that line perfectly. They do so by employing some of the hardest rock, metal and classical hooks in the city; yes, the band features a viola, aptly named the Witch Stick. However, as an instrumental-only outfit, Fiddle Witch is almost a more gothic Explosions in the Sky, a band whose lyric-free catalog is amenable to any number of locales, including Halloween bashes.