Well today’s finally arrived and in order to celebrate my favourite time of the year, I’m taking the rest of the afternoon off. Teenage Kicks has been written, I’ve reviewed the new Girls Aloud and Story of Hair records (if you love Bratmobile etc then you’ll really dig Story of Hair) and apart from a few niggly things, I’m done. But never fear folks, in order to give you something to read, I’ve posted a few reviews/features etc from a while back to tie in with the spooky spirit of today including a piece on one of the greatest bands in world the Misfits. Oh, if you’re still up for more Hallowe’en hi-jinks, then comics-wise pick up the Walking Dead and the Astounding Wolf-Man by Robert Kirkman and Tomb of Dracula, Witches and Rise of the Midnight Sons (published by Marvel). I used to love Lilith, Mother of all demons when I was wee..
Right, I’m off to buy yet another pumpkin, some booze and sweeties then go watch the fireworks display in Lisburn before getting utterly rat-arsed at the Rockabilly night in McCracken’s.
Stay cool, ghouls.
Horrorpops-Kiss Kiss Kill Kill
Reviewer: Edwin McFee
Danish diva Patricia Day and her boo-wop boys the Horrorpops return to the action this month with the eagerly awaited release of their third album ‘Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.’ This time around the band have given the boot to the schlocky horror of previous records and instead adopted a more tongue in cheek/fang in mouth approach. There’s also a decidedly 80s feel to the album, especially on the Billy Idol-esque title track and Day’s come to bed croon is as bewitching as ever. Best song by far has to be the future single ‘Heading for the Disco?’ which is destined to become a monster-smash among psychobilly and punk fans before the year’s out and overall, ‘Kiss Kiss’ is a welcome addition to Horrorpops’ arsenal. Ghoul power!
Download: ‘Heading for the Disco?’ ‘Thelma and Louise,’ ‘Keep My Picture.’
For Fans Of: Nekromanitx, the Meteors, the Sabrejets.
Nekromantix-Life is a Grave and I Dig It!
Reviewer: Edwin McFee
After spending nearly two years in limbo while singer and bassist Kim Nekroman toured with the Horrorpops, morbid mentalists Nekromantix are back from the dead with a new record. Life is a Grave is the band’s seventh slab of wax and employs the “if it ain’t broke” rule to superb effect. Featuring 13 tracks of terrifying tuneage, the Danish dead-men have breathed new life into a decaying genre. Don’t call the undertakers just yet.
Download: ‘Horny in a Hearse,’ ‘Voodoo Shop Hop,’ ‘My Girl.’
For Fans Of: Horrorpops, the Meteors, Brian Setzer
Hailing from Lodi, New Jersey, the Misfits arrived kicking and screaming into the late 70s punk rock scene, laying waste to their peers in a matter of months. At the band’s core was lead singer Glenn Danzig and bassist Jerry Only. Although they were both clearly in love with being a Misfit, the dynamic duo couldn’t be any more different. Danzig was a short but stocky loner who thrived on psycho-sexual imagery, comic books and violence. Only was a tall, athletic Italian American who loved being one of the guys as much as he did watching creepy old horror films.
For five years, Danzig and Jerry would re-imagine the world of punk rock, changing the genre forever. Gone was the cartoonish posing and designer clothes of bands like the Sex Pistols in favour of a darker, more aggressive type of music that feed on America’s fears. In short-the Misfits couldn’t have been any more punk rock if they tried. They released their own music via their label Plan 9, they made their own back-drops, answered their own fan mail and later set up one of the coolest organisations ever-the Fiend Club.
When the Misfits first started gigging, Jerry would work at his Dad’s car shop while Danzig sorted out the fan club, booked tours and wrote songs. They would put every penny they had into creating the ultimate creepy concert and over the years featured coffins, rats, fake blood, and anything else their horror obsessed minds could think of to thrill the Fiends with. They were a band that looked like a gang. They wore the same black clothes emblazoned with their mascot the Crimson Ghost, they wore their hair with their fringes over their faces (later christened the Devilock) and their annual Halloween shows were a frenzy of two minute short, sharp shocks to the system, each song faster and more melodic than the next.
But a band a vital and as visceral as the Misfits can only last so long before they burn out and this happened around the time when Jerry’s 16 year old brother Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein replaced guitarist Bobby Steele in 1980. Although many see the line-up comprising of Danzig, Doyle and Jerry as the classic incarnation of the band, Glenn had his doubts. The singer claimed that Jerry drafted in his brother to strengthen his position in the band and rather daftly complained that Doyle’s fingers were too large to properly play guitar. Still, the Twins of Evil, as they were delightfully dubbed, made an even more imposing live prospect than before and went down a storm with the Fiends.
After a few failed attempts at supporting the Clash and the Damned in England, the end of the line was in sight for the Misfits. On one hand we had Jerry who wanted the band to stay true to their three chord melodic punk origins and on the other we had Danzig who felt like he was being trapped artistically. This all came to a head one fateful Halloween night in 1983. They were due to play a gig in Michigan and Glenn had drafted in Brian Damage to thump the tubs for the night. Unfortunately Damage was too pissed to play and Doyle threw him offstage. The drummer from the Necros filled in but the band looked visibly annoyed with one another and Glenn informed the crowd that this was the Misfits’ last ever show. The group later drove back home together and never spoke again.
During the 90s Jerry and Danzig were involved in a court battle over song writing royalties. To cut a very long story short, Only settled out of court and gained the right to use the Misfits’ moniker. Doyle and Jerry recruited drummer Dr Chud and hot young talent Michale Graves and made two amazing, yet sadly over-looked records American Psycho and Famous Monsters. Old school Misfits fans were sceptical of the reunion and Graves later left the band blaming Only for being a task master. In recent years Jerry has continued to tour under the Misfits name and is planning a new record. Danzig has since went on to be a successful solo artist and still refuses to talk about his time in the band. Although he stresses there will never be a Misfits reunion, AU wouldn’t bet against it. Afterall, even the monsters in the horror movies they so dearly love come back for one last scare, so why can’t they?
STATIC AGE (Plan 9, 1995)
Originally recorded in 1978, Static Age finally saw the light of day in late 1998 after spending a lifetime gathering dust on a studio executive’s shelf. The album featured the Misfits at the peak of the powers and some of the tracks such as Return of the Fly, Last Caress and Bullet would become absolute classics at their gigs.
EVILIVE (Plan 9, 1983)
Live albums should be less about smoothing over the imperfections and more about the smash-mouth delivery that you can only get at gig and no album seems to sum this up more than the sonic brutality of Evilive. Featuring a guest appearance from Black Flag’s Henry Rollins, Evilive is up there with the best of them.
FAMOUS MONSTERS (Roadrunner Records, 1999)
Although much maligned by old school Fiends who refused to recognise new Misfits singer Michale Graves-Famous Monsters is a near perfect record chock-full of melodies you’ll still be whistling while you’re six feet deep in your coffin. Songs such as boo-wop classic Saturday Night could make even the more dedicated shoe-gazer contemplate throwing away his Sigor Ros records and is a worthy addition to the Misfits’ canon.
Hidden Tracks: For Collectors
Until relatively recently, nearly all of the Misfits’ original output could be considered as ‘Hidden Tracks.’ During the band’s early days they churned out super limited editions of their singles as 7 and 12 inches and most of it remained out of print for years. These days the highly sought after slabs of wax earn a fortune on eBay, but if you’re a future Fiend in the making the smart money goes on a copy of the Misfits coffin boxset to satisfy your every need. Most of the early ‘fits’ back catalogue was released as part of the mighty 4-disk anthology during the mid 90s and it features everything you need and more including the ace Danzig solo single Who Killed Marilyn. Also keep an eye out for the UK edition of Famous Monsters which features the exclusive punk as fuck song 1 Million Years BC.
THE DEVIL’S WHOREHOUSE-SELECTED MISFITS TRIVIA
During the late 90s, Misfits bassist Jerry Only fancied himself as a wrestler and tagged with WCW grappler Vampiro for a short period of time.
The band’s single Scream not only featured a video with the ‘fits done up as zombies who attack a hospital, it was also directed by horror legend George Romero. As if that wasn’t enough, the song was originally commissioned by Wes Craven to be used as the theme tune to his latest film project. No prizes for guessing what that particular movie was called…
In 1982 the Misfits were arrested on charges of grave robbing. They were alleged to have entered a cemetery in New Orleans in search of the burial ground for notorious voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. Although they denied charges, they paid their bail the next morning and legged it to Florida before anyone noticed.
Happy go-lucky weight-lifting beef cake Henry Rollins is a major fan of the band and has their mascot the Crimson Ghost tattooed on his arm.
Former Misfits guitarist Arthur Googy quit the band in ‘82 following an argument one night with Danzig over that heavily debated subject of cheeseburgers.
During a particularly bloody show in San Francisco in the early 80s, Doyle broke a guitar over one fan’s head after being repeatedly hit with beer cans. Although some people reported that the fan died, he did in fact survive the scuffle but was left with severe brain damage. A full scale riot broke out after the incident and the Misfits narrowly escaped with their lives.
Life-long comic book fanboy Glenn Danzig was rumoured to have auditioned for the role of Wolverine in the big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s X-Men.
During the band’s early days Doyle bought a real life coffin and kept it in his room.
Before Jerry Only hired Michale Graves to front the 90s incarnation of the band-Damned warbler Dave Vanian was originally slated to be Danzig’s replacement.
HORROR BUSINESS-A MISFITS MIXTAPE
1) Bullet (7-inch single, 1978)
2) I Turned Into a Martian (Walk Among Us, 1982)
3) Forbidden Zone (Famous Monsters, 1999)
4) Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight (Walk Among Us, 1982)
5) Horror Hotel (3 Hits from Hell, 1982)
6) Speak of the Devil (American Psycho, 1997)
7) Teenagers From Mars (Beware EP, 1
8) Saturday Night (Famous Monsters, 1999)
9) Night of the Living Dead (7 inch single, 1979)
10) 20 Eyes (Walk Among Us, 1982)
11) Horror Business (Evilive, 1981)
12) Dig Up Her Bones (American Psycho, 1997)
13) Devilock (Earth AD/Wolf’s Blood, 1983)
14) Halloween (Legacy of Brutality, 1985)
15) Return of the Fly (Static Age, 1995)
16) Pumpkin Head (Famous Monsters, 1999)
17) Vampira (Collection I, 1986)
18) Skulls (Walk Among Us, 1982)
19) Scarecrow Man (Famous Monsters, 1999)
20) We Are 138 (Evilive, 1983)