Tuesday, 4 December 2007



The Misfits are one of those bands who are in that awkward position of being better known for their t-shirts than their records and music.  And that is not necessarily the best situation to be in the music world.

Famous Monsters is their fifth album that was released in 1999.  Obviously there is not a whiff of Glenn Danzig attached to piece, unless of course you count the now heavier leanings in the style of the music, which is not necessarily good.

There is very little that is subtle about this record.  It now feels an eternity since the band was a punk band although certainly they are the main embodiment of that thinly sliced genre that is horror punk.  However as with ageing punk bands often the guitars will become heavy (while remaining basic) as the rhythm section slows down and the vocals grow more theatrical.

So is this a bad record?  To my ears: yes.

It opens with an appropriate “Kong At The Gates” which sees/hears a gong and a chant that beckons the Misfits into life.  Unfortunately then comes the sound of heavy metal guitar and ghastly realisation that there is something wrong.

From here the record ploughs through a sound more akin to The Exploited and Iron Maiden than Black Flag.  Disheartening there is nothing frightening about this record other than just how off the boil it sounds.  It just swings and this is music that should not swing.

As they plunder through eighteen tracks of horror nostalgia the song titles are great, perhaps the best thing about proceedings, as they rock up with “Hunting Humans”, “Witch Hunt” and “Fiend Club” which all conjure great black and white TV imagery.  Sadly Fantomas this is not.

Maybe horror film samples could have saved it.  That or narrative.

Context is everything.

If they played All Tomorrows Parties though, I’d watch them.

Thesaurus moment: venal.

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