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Horror punk (sometimes called horror rock) is a music genre that mixes proto-gothic and punk rock sounds with morbid and violent imagery and lyrics, which are often influenced by horror films or science fiction B-movies. The genre is similar to and sometimes overlaps with deathrock, although deathrock leans more towards an atmospheric gothic rock sound while horror punk leans towards a 1950s-influenced doo-wop and rockabilly sound. Horrorpunk music is typically more aggressive and melodic than deathrock.
The Misfits and their first lead vocalist Glenn Danzig are recognized as the progenitors of horror punk. Bands like The Undead (founded by ex-Misfits guitarrist, Bobby Steele), Screaming Dead, The Damned, The Cramps, T.S.O.L, 45 Grave and Rosemary's Babies also be considered old school horror punk bands.
Horror punk is generally apolitical in comparison to other punk rock subgenres, although some songs do refer to political events (e.g. the Misfits' "Bullet", which discusses the assassination of John F. Kennedy), and some artists like Jack Grisham (on the left) and Michale Graves (on the right) have espoused their own political views.
Horror hardcore, refers to a hybrid of horror punk and hardcore punk. The Misfits' 1983 album Earth A.D. inaugurated this style and the bands Septic Death, The Banner, and Integrity have also been categorized into this subgenre.