With every new release, Vista Blue reminds me why it's my favorite pop-punk band. New Nightmares, released just in time for Halloween, features four songs about well-known slasher flicks. I don't like horror movies at all, but I sure love this EP! As always, Vista Blue proves that it can write songs about any topic and still fill me with delight. I would probably even dig a Vista Blue song about the Dallas Cowboys or black licorice. New Nightmares specifically pays tribute to Halloween III, Candyman, Terror Train, and Friday the 13th VI. Fans of those films will surely enjoy these songs -- as will fans of high-quality pop-punk music. With its Beach Boys inspired harmonies and irresistible chorus, "Where Do You Wanna Sleep?" is a vintage Vista Blue track. It clocks in at nearly three minutes long -- practically an epic by this band's standards! If you didn't know this song was about a horror movie, you might actually think it was a love song. And of course, I always welcome a guest appearance from Richard Bates on lead guitar! You might not expect a song about Candyman to be described as "peppy", but "I'll Be True" is exactly that. As the old folks say, it's a real toe-tapper! I reviewed "Magic on This Train" earlier this year when it was released as a teaser track. This is a song so good that it made me want to watch Terror Train. Enough said! The EP concludes with "Ya Bang!", a song that I've immediately placed in the highest echelon of VB songs. If it were any catchier, half the population would be insisting it was a hoax. Seriously, this is about as "fun" as a song about a supernatural murder spree can be. It's got buzzing guitars, killer melodies (pun fully intended), and that perfect touch of keyboards that has become one of this band's signatures. I love that Vista Blue can do this type of song over and over again, yet it never gets old. Now that's talent!
As I've reflected deeply on how soon is too soon to break out the Christmas music for 2021, New Nightmares has settled it for me. The Halloween music must come first, or there will be terrible consequences. I will ride the wave of New Nightmares into the safe zone of post World Series. Dean Martin, Perry Como, and Ralphie's Red Ryders are on deck!