Horror movies don’t have to be scary, and pop punk songs don’t have to be all skating, pizza, and the relationship blues. Horror Section — a Missouri band whose latest self-titled full length is out now — upend cliches associated with both styles, crafting straightforward rocking punk tunes whose lyrics are pretty far out there when you look closely, relaying tales of horror inspired by movies.
For the vocalist — who goes by Teflon Dave — there’s a unifying thread running across the divide some might perceive between the two artistic categories he works with.
“This is actually something I’ve wanted to do for a while now,” he explains of his work in Horror Section. “The idea first came up many years before Horror Section — it was actually going to be a Nightmare on Elm Street themed band. Pop punk is fast, energetic, fun, and often dismissed as juvenile, very similar to horror. So it was a natural fit to take my writing style from previous bands and shape it to some of my favorite movies.”
In reality of course, neither pop punk nor horror movies are only juvenile expressions of “teen angst” or whatever else and that’s it. Each heading marks an impressive collection of forays into the human psyche that may be extreme in the way they zero in on particular emotions, sure — but they can be dynamic and meaningful all the same.
Dave incorporates these facets of the situation into his work, letting Horror Section’s songs shine via tapping into the uniqueness (and shock, perhaps) that made great horror — and great music — ever stick out in the first place. He displays catchy and melodic sides of “stripped down punk” and horror movies you might not have been so aware of before.
“To me, horror is the true enemy of the mundane,” he explains. “There is so much negativity in the world and stress coming from all directions. Horror is an escape from all that – whether it’s scary, repulsive, goofy, or just compelling stories, I like it all! Much like music there’s also a social element – I love going to conventions, collecting merch and movies, and meeting up with friends to watch movies.”
“I think at the core we aim to bring something fun but also a little different and interesting,” he adds, circling back to his own particular effort. “We stay within the confines of pop punk for sure, but try to bring something new, both in the pop punk world and the horror music world.”
There are others out there pushing horror music, from the Misfits and their punk to Ice Nine Kills and their bombastic and extravagant metalcore — so there’s certainly an appetite for what Dave’s presenting.
“I’ve always liked theme bands,” Dave says. “I was getting sick of writing only love songs and other stereotypical pop punk stuff. A theme to guide the direction and song writing has actually helped challenge and bring more creativity to the songs, which may seem odd. This band was supposed to do one EP and that’s it but it’s been so fun covering different movies and connecting with like minded people.”
Dave and his band mates tap into the room their “genre” has left for growth, filling in more of those blanks and ultimately, connecting more people, like he says.
At its core, the music represents the uniqueness and humanity that comes to define any good music. There’s people at the center who care about what they’re doing and can thereby rope in observers — and from there, anything can happen. The important thing is to experience it.
As Dave sums it up: “Some people just like the music, some people like to dig in to the songs and the references. At the end of the day I just want to deliver great songs.”
Listen below via Bandcamp