Misfits – Famous Monsters (LP of the Week)

Does this compare with Danzig-era Misfits? Yes, however only genre wise, that is it punk rock, and horror punk at that. As a whole it is more playful than the Danzig-era Misfits, and it is modernised to fit in with mid to late 90s punk at the time of its release (1999). Danzig-era Misfits will go down well in punk history, whereas Michale Graves’ Misfits is more of a sidenote. Does that take away from enjoying the album, not a chance. Critics, and hardcore Misfits fans of the Danzig led Misfits may not approve, but it is a very catchy, melodic, and yes, fun punk rock album.

The cover image, a drawing actually based on a real press photo starts to tell the story. Michale Graves being the only one without a devilock, yet still fitting in. From the opening intro track, “Kong at the Gates”, it really does not let up. “The Forbidden Zone”, and “Lost in Space” starting the album out after the intro offer some great melodic, fast, and great sing along songs. Both clocking in just under two and a half minutes in classic punk fashion. “Saturday Night” is practically a punk crooner, it starts “there’s 52 ways to murder anyone”, I dare say, that sounds like the Misfits! Songwriting duties were handled by the entire band, and Daniel Rey, the producer, on a few tracks.

Without Danzig writing the lyrics, it is a definitely noticeable. Jerry Only, having been with the band since a month after formation, likely had plenty of input with his experience. Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein was a member of the original Misfits from 1982 on. Michale Graves along with Dr. Chud were the newcomers rounding out the new Misfits lineup. American Psycho was their first release together, in 1997, two years before their second and last album with this lineup, Famous Monsters. Famous Monsters being the first one of the two I heard.

The original Misfits material is essential punk rock listening (see Walk Among Us for one), with that said, is Famous Monsters the best punk album out there, no, and far from it. It does offer a good fun upbeat record!


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