Tonight, hordes of Twi-hards will descend upon your neighborhood’s local cinema to see Breaking Dawn, the second-to-last installment of the uber-lucrative Twilight series. While vampire fare has always centered on the nexus of seduction and fear, the Twilight books and subsequent film franchise have amped up the former and neutered the latter. Thus, a Twilight vampire is nothing more than a pale, brooding purveyor of intense hickeys meant to make libidinous adolescents fork over their parents’ cash. Here’s five vampire songs that are just as unthreatening as these heartthrob bloodsuckers. If you’re looking for Bauhaus’s goth landmark “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” or Concrete Blonde’s eery “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)” then you’re in the wrong place.
1. Arcade Fire, “Vampire/Forest Fire”
This one isn’t nearly as scary as the title suggests. In fact, it’s the least scary song about vampires that we’ve come across because of one simple fact: The banjo. That said, Win Butler declares “I’m a vampire in a forest fire”(as the title suggests) and this would be totally and completely terrifying for many a Twilight character since they seem to do much of their socializing/baseball-playing in forests.
2. Radiohead, “We Suck Young Blood. (Your Time Is Up.)”
The creepiest song on the list, no question. Those slightly out-of-sync claps, the dreary piano, and those wavering, pained cries for young blood and sweet meat conjure images of a decrepit monster craving one last blood fix. And then that cacophonous meltdown at the three minute mark takes the song to an unsettling, David Lynchian level. Until you remember the architect behind it all is Thom Yorke, meme subject extraordinaire and devoted critic of blood-sucking capitalists.
3. Outkast, “Dracula’s Wedding”
Dracula here sings in a Prince-like falsetto about his fear of commitment, so Andre 3000 somehow managed to make the heavyweight champion vampire seem even less intimidating than Edward. And quite frankly, we don’t know why he’s so scared of this bride — she’s quick to boast about her peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making prowess. (Maybe this Dracula is allergic to peanuts and thus even lamer than we suspected.)
4. Kings of Leon, “Closer”
Let’s put it this way: When brainstorming “bands that probably wrote a song about vampires,” Kings of Leon were not on our short list. Or our long list. Believe it or not, though, this first track off KOL’s Only by the Night is about a Nosferatu-like creature who for two centuries has run “far from the carnage of the fiery sun,” craving blood and probably horny groupies. The looping guitars and the shoegaze-y blanket of reverb elicit a sense of dread, but Caleb Followill’s raspy twang (especially when he pronounces the word “spooky” in the most Caleb way possible) erases any spookiness quickly.
5. Arctic Monkeys, “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong, But…”
Let’s make one thing clear: Unless you’re Alex from A Clockwork Orange, it’s impossible to be both cheeky and frightening. Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner is cheekiness embodied, and he tries to conjure up fear when he snarls “‘all you people are vampires, and all your stories are stale.” Maybe it’s just us, but anyone from a band naming themselves after a type of monkey doesn’t seem to project scariness; if anything, funny circus-like tricks and cute little hats come to mind.