It wouldn’t be a proper Halloween in Nashville without a new release from Boo Dudes. Past years have included albums of Halloween songs done in surprisingly sincere Ska style, jangly country or classic 50’s style. This year switches things up just a little bit with a new album from Boo Dude (singular) entitled Candy Corn Sells… But Who’s Buying?. According to the album notes, this is Not an official Boo DudeS release. Ghastly Mike was away figuring some stuff out at the time of this recording.*
Of course, that distinction is just part of a larger narrative from the band involving band members hating one another, catalog rights being stripped away and other such nonsense. Part of that ridiculousness includes a YouTube series that launched earlier in September, showing Jesse Boo and Ghastly Mike at odds. It is, admittedly, a lot to keep up with but pretty impressive that they maintain the whole thing year over year. More videos on their Youtube.
All that aside, Candy Corn is chalk full of ridiculous-but-legitimately-enjoyable genre-hopping. “NecroComicCon” feels ripped from the pages of Rob Zombie, “Hop Vampire Hop” is doo-wop dance tune recorded as if it were front of a live audience (complete with very awkward drum fills and bad audience clapping) and “Student Loans” is a fuzzed out blast warning of the inescapable haunting of educational debt (possibly a spiritual sequel to 2017’s “Grave Robbin’ Grants Goblin“?).
For my money, Boo Dudes (singular or plural) are the most successful when they don’t stick to a particular style. An album of ska songs is conceptually funny but not exactly fun to listen to. The fact that Candy Corn is able to growl through a White Zombie riffer and croon a pensive ballad from the perspective of Frankenstein’s Monster and bop out a ghoulish dance song about getting ripped while buried in a tomb…. well, that’s a Halloween Good Time if ever there was one.