Hear The Jesus Lizard's David Yow as 'Horror Host' on new compilation Sounds To Make You Shudder

David Yow
(Image credit: David Yow - Paul Archuleta/Getty Images + Skin Graft Records)

The Jesus Lizard / Flipper frontman David Yow has teamed up with St. Louis, Missouri experimental rockers Yowie to record The Spider's Greeting, the opening track on a new Skin Graft Records compilation Sounds To Make You Shudder, the Chicago label's 150th release.

Yow acts as the record's 'Horror Host', a role akin to that of the Cryptkeeper from Tales from the Crypt. Other artists featuring include Osees leader John Dwyer, Jim O'Rourke, USA Nails, Lovely Little Girls - covering Celtic Frost's Procreation (Of The Wicked) - and The Flying Luttenbachers.

For the Skin Graft Records’ 150th release, I’d decided to see if it would be possible to rally the bands and assemble a Halloween album at the 11th hour,' says label founder and owner Mark Fischer. "As the songs started to come in,  it occurred to me that a “horror host" to set the mood at the beginning is just what we needed to put it over the top.  David was the first person and only person I asked."  

Speaking about the track, and his band's participation in the project, Yowie drummer Shawn 'The Defenestrator O'Connor says, "Mark from Skin Graft came to me with this idea - and asked if Yowie was interested. The notion was that we would put out an album that was basically an homage to those 1970s records made for kids' Halloween parties, usually with some kind of Dracula-type narrator at the beginning, and then lots of creaking doors and rattling chains and screaming.

"David Yow was on board to do an opening track wherein he played a role (The Spider) that was not unlike the Cryptkeeeper (or that wonderful narrator from Tales from the Darkside) and Yowie was asked to do the incidental music. 

"My initial response was, I don't think we are the right band. And that was very difficult to say, because I grew up on Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard and Pigface, so the idea of doing a track with David felt astoundingly good. And Halloween is the only holiday I actually enjoy, and consensually participate in, and so it seemed fun.

"But there was one problem- I don't think Yowie is really much of an incidental music band. We tend to pull the listener's full attention. And when I heard David's track alone, I couldn't help but think that the perfect sounds to accompany it would be something like creaking doors and distant creepy moans, rather than intricately arranged polyrhythmic rock music. I should also point out that Yowie has consistently had a particular process in composition, wherein we allow parts to sort of independently develop and evolve over time...so the notion that we would be restricted to the parameters of interacting with a recorded vocal track, of all things, seemed pretty un-Yowie.

"Nonetheless it felt intriguing and very different, and so I talked a bit with people who were in or around Yowie, and it was decided that we would give it a go and see if we could do something that worked without becoming un-Yowielike. I will leave it to the listeners to decide; I think we did a poor job of being 'incidental' but instead made a composition that generally fits with a spooky theme, and is somewhat meticulously composed to David's vocal lines.

"Does it work? Does it make sense? Is it a Yowie track? Is it something else entirely? You be the judge."

Listen to The Spider's Greeting below:

The full album tracklist is:

1.David Yow & YOWIE – The Spider’s Greeting
2. USA Nails – Horror Show
3. Lovely Little Girls – Procreation (Of The Wicked)
4. Terms – Mouthful Of Moss
5. Tijuana Hercules – Long Slide
6. Pili Coit – Lo Comte Arou
7. Psychic Graveyard And John Dwyer – Is There A Hotline?
8. Jim O'Rourke - guising
9. Cuntroaches - Borborygmus
10. Strangulated Beatoffs - Happy Halloween
11. Shatter On Impact - Amar’s Volta 
12. Bobby Conn - Don’t Be Afraid
13. The Flying Luttenbachers - Violence Labyrinth
14. Upright Forms - They Kept On Living
15. AZITA - Tss Tss

Skin Graft 150 artwork

(Image credit: Skin Graft Records)
Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.