Famous MonstersBy Chris Jones
October 5th marked the release of the Misfits’ ninth album, Famous Monsters. This album is the second with Michale Graves, who replaced the original vocalist Glenn Danzig. Monsters follows 1996’s American Psycho with the same fast-paced fervor. The new sound with Graves is noticeably different from earlier years but is by no means inferior.
Since 1977 the Misfits led a loyal fan base, even through an almost ten year dry spell. There is a distinct difference between the classic punk rock style from their earlier years and the harder and louder, more contemporary punk sound of the last two albums. This is by no means a way of saying that one is better than the other. Both are great, and amazingly the Misfits managed to keep both sounds uniquely their own for 22 years.
Famous Monsters opens with “Kong at the Gates,” a dark introduction that sets the tone for their horror-themed music. All of the Misfits’ songs have to do with the supernatural. Inspiration is drawn from B-horror movies, such as in “Crawling Eye” and “Pumpkin Head.” Lyrics like “If I cut off your arms and cut off your legs, would you still love me anyway?” from the song “Helena” are typical Misfits fare. Though the band has stuck with its fiendish theme since the beginning, its songs are nonetheless captivating and somehow even uplifting.
The Misfits manage to put heavy chords, fast rhythms, and catchy melodies together to make music that you can’t help but sing along to. From the 50’s-like “Saturday Night” to the rockabilly “Scarecrow Man” to the anthem “Fiend Club,” the Misfits maintain a high level of energy that keeps you listening and your adrenaline pumping.
In short, whether you’re a Misfits fan or not, whether you’re a punk fan or not, whether you have a pulse or not, you’ll enjoy Famous Monsters. And for true Fiends, see the Misfits at the Palladium in Worcester November 5th with GWAR.