Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artist of the Day: The Misfits

In honor of the spooktacular day that is Halloween, why not explore the original icons of horror punk? The Misfits, characterized by their Crimson Skull logo, mesh with this frightful holiday all too well. If you're looking for a quick fix of everything dark and scary, look no further. Slide your mask over your face and enjoy the glow of jack-o-lanterns throughout your neighborhood in punk fashion.

Over the past thirty years, the Misfits have have had a flurry of lineup changes. In fact, most die-hard Misfits fans refuse to acknowledge any of the work post-Evilive when frontman Danzig left to form his new project Samhain. A couple box sets and a handful of albums later, the Misfits are still around and kicking, though it's debatable how relevant the band's newer material may be. The recent tunes feature a wide range of influences, spanning from southern rock to thrash metal and basic hard rock. Is is a bastardization of everything the horror punk heroes have become idolized for? Maybe, but the band's first few records are still hardcore gold.

Static Age rages with the anthems "Last Caress", "Attitude" and "Teenagers From Mars" as Danzig croons his way through short bursts of riffs and popping drum beats. Drawing inspiration from horror movies, each song tells a terrifying tale about the living dead, evil monsters and murderous psychopaths. Delve into Walk Among Us, hitting the sing-a-long's like "Hatebeeders" and "I Turned Into A Martian." Looking for something more aggressive? The last album to feature Danzig, Earth A.D./Wolf's Blood cranks it up on the hardcore punk side with "Demonomania"and "Devilock." The early skate-punk tunes still sound fresh today, aside from the rather DIY sound of the recordings. But hey, analog punk sounds so much more ghoulish, right?

For today's special night, check out Collection and Collection II. The two-part compilation features most of the band's best songs and should keep you occupied as the trick-or-treaters funnel through the sidewalks, including the appropriate "Halloween" and "Halloween II". If you want to take a listen to post-Danzig Misfits, there's tons of material like American Psycho that strives to stay in the game spirit of the classics, though sometimes (mostly) failing to capture that charm of the fall season.

If you're not familiar with the Misfits, chances are you're out of touch with the punk rock world. Or even rock music in general. But today, the wall between the spirit world and the living is the thinnest of the year, and the Misfits seem that much more appropriate than any other 364 days that we all listen to music. Honor the classics and melt into the cauldron of horror themes presented on the band's albums, and you'll feel more content with Halloween than you ever have before as well. Who can resist screaming "I've got something to say/I killed a baby today and it doesn't matter much to me as long as it's dead" at the top of their lungs? It's a morbid kind of poignancy that you can get away with on Halloween, so just go for it.


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