There are two things that are synonymous with Halloween: dramatic near-death experiences and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 classic “I Put A Spell On You”.
Earlier this year at the Rock and Roll Rumble at ONCE Ballroom, those two things were experienced at the same time by this writer: As Salem Wolves wrapped up a hypnotic performance of the 60-year-old spooktacular, a rouge drumstick — flung into the far reaches of the Somerville venue’s corner by Wolves drummer and part-time beast machine Paul Koelle — nearly clocked me square in the dome. I saw my life flash before my eyes, and the jilted images were soundtracked by the dark, surf-rock tones of the North Shore guitar-rock band.
This week, in honor of Halloween, Salem Wolves, who have already delivered us tales of evil, wisdom, and purity — like 2015 EP Black Books and last summer’s “More Weight”, dedicated to the last words and lasting memory of accused witchcraft agent Giles Corey in 1692 Salem — return with a raised glass and a maniacal salute to the eternal torch of the late Hawkins.
The Wolves have gone into the studio to record a cover of “I Put A Spell On You”, taking a staple of their live shows and capturing the song’s raw energy and macabre foundation. It was recorded at Napoleon Complex and Ugly Duck Studio, and mixed and mastered by Shaun Curran.
Fire it up via Soundcloud below, and catch Salem Wolves live at ONCE Tuesday night with Pack A.D., keep all eyes locked overhead all week for errant broomsticks, drumsticks, and anything else that goes “boo!” in the night.