MISFITS: FAMOUS MONSTERS - 1999
I HOPE YOU DIE! DIE MONSTER DIE!
In the beginning,
I listened to everything the MISFITS
put out, then they seemed to get worse somehow. My opinion didn't matter
at that time because everyone else was catching onto the MISFITS
and they were doing better than ever: can't argue with success.
Time passed and bands that last a long time always get new band members, so it was
with the MISFITS. Co-Founder Glenn Danzig went his separate way,
made a few CD's of his own, pissed off H.R. Giger, made an ass of himself
in the comic book world for his unbelievable cowardice, and is now fading
away with a few CD sputters here and there.
I finally picked up a MISFITS disk in 1997 called AMERICAN PSYCHO.
At that time I had been so out of touch with my old favorites that I was
unaware that the band had not been producing for quite some time. Hey!
I was impressed with AMERICAN PSYCHO! To my mind they sounded better than
ever! Which brings us to FAMOUS MONSTERS.
I'VE GOT TO STOP LISTENING TO IT!
I bought it two days ago. The first day I listened to the CD three times
in succession. Today I listened to it at least 5 or more times in a row.
Why? What is so great about this disk? Well, as usual, it is all about
Horror movies. All the songs are written over one or more horror movies
and I love it for that. The MISFITS used Basil Gogos again for their new album cover, just like they did with
AMERICAN PSYCHO. Like many who, as kids grew up looking at that rough
and raw Gogos cover art on issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS, I'm infatuated with the man's work. But the music,
why do I keep listening to the music?
For starters FAMOUS MONSTERS is produced by Daniel Reyes, who is known for keeping songs sharp, clear
and short. Whether he is producing the RAMONES or WHITE ZOMBIE, Reyes
is clearly a man who prefers songs that hit the audience like a grenade.
Reyes also produced AMERICAN PSYCHO.
Next up to bat is Mixer Ed Nasium, who also worked with the RAMONES, which
I keep bringing up not just for geographical origins, but also for the
fact that MISFITS have the same kind of high intensity impact as Joey and the gang.
Now for the main event: From the start it has always been Guitarists Jerry
Only (Bass) and his brother Doyle Von Frankenstien (Lead). Now there is also Dr. Chud (Drums) and Michale Graves (Lead vocal). Michale,
despite his appearance, has a clear melodic voice that can harmonize with
the others even while they are playing fast as punk and hard as metal,
songs that sound like some lost tape from a deranged 50's style garage
MISFITS: FAMOUS MONSTERS opens with a quick intro piece called KONG AT THE
GATES and then starts jumping with THE FORBIDDEN ZONE. One of the many
cool things about the MISFITS is that they can take lyrics like these (from LIVING HELL):
Eternity I damn thee /
let me rot into the ground /
As the empty veins collapse /
Cast them down Living Hell
Now then, anybody who has listened to enough Goth, Black, or Death Metal,
can probably name a few dozen bands that sing songs of a similar vein, complete with rough
". . . Cookie Monster voices," (- Dave
songs have superfast guitars, maybe some casio drum loop machine set on
high speed, and a dreary vocalist plodding through the song. Not so with
the MISFITS. They take those same lyrics and beat the shit out of them in such a frantic
way that those lyrics sound like a real fun time!
Some of the movies covered this time around (for those
who don't know, MISFITS sing songs based on Monster movies! That's it! That's what they do!)
are SCREAM, CRAWLING EYE, THEM, and HELENA (based on the fascinating, but ultimately disappointing movie BOXING HELENA).
I'm just so glad that the MISFITS are back and (as hackneyed as it sounds) better than ever! FAMOUS
MONSTERS gets all 5 Perplex Skulls!
copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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