Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Misfits

'tis the season for horror (punk). If there's a soundtrack to back late-night Romero movie marathons, complete with tons of "whoa's" and go!'s", it's this. Whether it be the the iconic Crimson Ghost logo, the countless covers of their songs, or their undisputed place as being one of the greatest punk bands of all time, everyone should recognize them. Of course, it's none other than The Misfits. Originally conceived by Glenn Danzig in 1977, this band has garnered quite the legacy (of brutality), both through their music and through their history. Before delving into all that, I just wanted to say Happy (early) Halloween to you guys, and I hope you enjoy this massive collection I've compiled below, both now and throughout the year. 

Lodi, New Jersey. 1977. Glenn Danzig, along with bassist Jerry Only and drummer Manny Martinez, form the very first incarnation of The Misfits. They only released one single, Cough/Cool, which stands out in comparison to all their other work due to the use of an electric piano instead of guitar, which gives their debut single a very haunting, almost Doors-esque feel to it. With the addition of a guitarist after this single, they shifted their style to a more punk rock sound, in the vein of the Ramones. Their first album, Static Age, was recorded in 1978, but was never formally released until 1997 (more on that below the link). A chunk of these songs became the Bullet single, which was a great introduction to both the gritty intensity of the band, as well as their penchant for aggressive yet surprisingly catchy songwriting. Following this, the band would endure a few line-up changes (with Danzig and Only being the only two consistent members), a few more singles, and quite a bit of touring. They also begin to adopt the horror theme to both their music and image. They began wearing all black, and growing out their now-iconic devilock (just look at almost any picture of them and you'll know what it is immediately). In their lyrics, Danzig began to take influence from older horror films, which is why they're now famous for inventing "horror punk", and why they're played on repeat around Halloween.

In 1980 they recorded another album, which would once again not see the light of day. 12 Hits From Hell was nearly released in 2001, but was cancelled at the last minute. Songs from this session were included on a handful of singles, and the majority were re-recorded for their actual debut full-length. Around this time is when Jerry Only's younger brother, who's known as Doyle, joined the band as their guitarist. This line-up is probably their best known, and the one that recorded their classic full-length Walk Among Us in 1982. This album displays their transition from being a punk band to a hardcore band. The songs are faster and more aggressive, yet still retain that same incredible songwriting talent, which is what made The Misfits stand out. Just before the first era of this band came to an end, one more album was released. With Robo (formerly of Black Flag) now drumming, they released Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood in 1983. The hardcore influence has taken over their sound, with the band playing at such blisteringly heavy speeds that they became an influence on thrash metal. The band broke up shortly after it. Danzig formed Samhain, a project which was more experimental and metal oriented than The Misfits, and that would later form into his main project (known simply as Danzig) that solidified his transition into the metal genre. Only and Doyle laid low some years after The Misfits, though they did play in a Christian metal band for a while.

A few compilations came out post-humously, most notably Legacy Of Brutality and Collection I & II. These documented most of the band's recorded material, though some songs were slightly different versions of the originals due to overdubs done by Danzig. The music they put out in their initial time together is nothing short of incredible. As much as I want to rant about the sheer greatness and timelessness of the music they put out in their first era as a band, I think it speaks for itself. A lot of music has accumulated on this blog over the years, but I firmly believe that The Misfits are one of the best, and one I would be ecstatic to recommend.

Now, like I said, the band that existed between 1977 and 1983, the brainchild of Glenn Danzig, turned out to only be what you can call the "first" era of three in this band's history. After years of legal disputes between Danzig and Only, the name and logo were finally allowed to be used by Only. In 1995, he reformed The Misfits with Doyle on guitar again, and eventually was joined by drummer Dr. Chud and new vocalist Michale Graves. Besides the name and image, this new incarnation shared almost nothing with the original Misfits. They would include some of the old songs in their live sets, but immediately sought to put out their own music. This new sound was much more polished and heavy metal influenced, though nicely complimented by Graves' melodic voice. They recorded two full-lengths in the late 90's. A lot of comparisons are drawn between the "Danzig" era and the "Graves" era, though the two are really apples and oranges. They're completely different sounds, and essentially two different bands, aside from some common members and a shared band name. Just throwing in my 2 cents here, but the "Graves" era definitely had some highlight songs; the "horror" aspect just became a little too campy. It's not always a bad thing, but that's just my very, very brief opinion on this era of the band. It's still worth trying though, I mean a song like "Helena" is just too good to pass up. 

As their history suggests, no line-up can last too long. Around 2000, Graves and Chud both quit the band, and Doyle followed soon after. This left Only as the sole remaining member of the band. Instead of The Misfits dissolving again, he decided to carry on, and took over vocals himself. He was joined by guitarist Dez Cadena (formerly of Black Flag) and drummer Marky Ramone (formerly of The Ramones). Their most notable release was Project 1950, which was a covers album of songs from the 1950's, and also the only album Only's vocals sounded good on. Marky was later replaced by Robo, former drummer of both Black Flag and The Misfits. Throughout the 2000's, the band mostly just toured and played songs from both the Danzig and Graves eras. Robo left in 2010, though of course this don't stop Only's Misfits. A year later, a new album under The Misfits name was released. Personally, it's "meh" at best, and hardly a Misfits album, but to each their own I suppose. Cadena eventually left too, being replaced by Only's son. Now in 2016, Danzig, Doyle, and Only finally put their numerous lawsuits and issues aside to reunite as The Misfits and play two headlining shows at Riot Fest. That's where we are now, and the future of the ever-changing Misfits is still unknown. 

That should do it for a quick history lesson on The Misfits. There's so much to this band throughout the years, really looking into them is both very interesting and very enlightening on how this band has functioned. There is a lot of material here, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask, or look around the internet; they're quite well-documented. To help condense down the essentials, if you grav Static Age, Walk Among Us, Legacy Of Brutality, Collection I & Collection II, you've pretty the majority of their music with Danzig on vocals. Also check out Evilive if you want to hear to some incredible live material from them. If you're going to check out an album with Graves at the helm, it'd have to be Famous Monsters, though American Psycho is also fantastic. As for Jerry on vocals, Project 1950 is surprisingly decent, but sadly that's about it. Again, I hope you enjoy, and Happy Halloween! I want your skulls.

1. Cough/Cool
2. She

1. Bullet
2. We Are 138
3. Attitude
4. Hollywood Babylon

1. Horror Business
2. Teenagers From Mars
3. Children In Heat

1. Night Of The Living Dead
2. Where Eagles Dare
3. Rat Fink

1. We Are 138
2. Bullet
3. Hollywood Babylon
4. Attitude
5. Horror Business
6. Teenagers From Mars
7. Last Caress

1. Halloween
2. Vampira
3. I Turned Into A Martian
4. Skulls
5. London Dungeon
6. Night Of The Living Dead
7. Horror Hotel
8. Ghouls Night Out
9. Astro Zombies
10. Where Eagles Dare
11. Violent World
12. Halloween II
13. London Dungeon (Alternate Take)

Note: This album was originally recorded in 1980, and was meant to be released as a full-length. This never happened, and most of the songs ended up either appearing on 3 Hits From HellHalloween, or were re-recorded for Walk Among Us. In 2001, this album was supposed to be released in full, but was scrapped just before distribution by Danzig and Only, so it still has no official release, besides bootlegs and a few promotional copies that still exist

1. London Dungeon
2. Horror Hotel
3. Ghouls Night Out

1. Halloween
2. Halloween II

1. 20 Eyes
2. I Turned Into A Martian
3. All Hell Breaks Loose
4. Vampira
5. Nike-A-Go-Go
6. Hatebreeders
7. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight? (Live)
8. Night Of The Living Dead
9. Skulls
10. Violent World
11. Devil's Whorehouse
12. Astro Zombies
13. Braineaters

1. Earth A.D.
2. Queen Wasp
3. Devilock
4. Death Comes Ripping
5. Green Hell
6. Wolfs Blood
7. Demonomania
8. Bloodfeast
9. Hellhound

1. Die, Die My Darling
2. We Bite
3. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?

1. Static Age
2. TV Casualty
3. Hybrid Moments
4. Spinal Remains
5. Come Back
6. Some Kinda Hate
7. Theme For A Jackal
8. Angelfuck
9. Who Killed Marilyn?
10. Where Eagles Dare
11. She
12. Halloween
13. American Nightmare

1. She
2. Hollywood Babylon
3. Bullet
4. Horror Business
5. Teenagers From Mars
6. Night Of The Living Dead
7. Where Eagles Dare
8. Vampira
9. I Turned Into A Martian
10. Skulls
11. London Dungeon
12. Ghouls Night Out
13. Astro Zombies
14. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?
15. Die, Die My Darling
16. Earth A.D.
17. Devilock
18. Death Comes Ripping
19. Green Hell
20. Wolfs Blood

Note: Also known as Collection I

1. 20 Eyes
2. Night Of The Living Dead
3. Astro Zombies
4. Horror Business
5. London Dungeon
6. Nike-A-Go-Go
7. Hatebreeders
8. Devil's Whorehouse
9. All Hell Breaks Loose
10. Horror Hotel
11. Ghouls Night Out
12. We Are 138

Note: Live album recorded in 1981, originally released as an EP in 1982, but then re-released in 1987 as a full album, which is what I have here

1. London Dungeon
2. Attitude
3. Teenagers From Mars
4. Night Of The Living Dead
5. All Hell Breaks Loose
6. Hatebreeders

1. Cough/Cool
2. She
3. Bullet
4. We Are 138
5. Attitude
6. Hollywood Babylon
7. Horror Business
8. Teenagers From Mars/Children In Heat
9. Night Of The Living Dead
10. Where Eagles Dare
11. Rat Fink
12. London Dungeon
13. Horror Hotel
14. Ghouls Night Out
15. Halloween
16. Halloween II
17. 20 Eyes (Live)
18. Night Of The Living Dead (Live)
19. Astro Zombies (Live)
20. Horror Business (Live)
21. London Dungeon (Live)
22. All Hell Breaks Loose (Live)
23. We Are 138 (Live)
24. Return Of The Fly
25. Last Caress

1. We Are 138
2. Attitude
3. Cough/Cool
4. Last Caress
5. Return Of The Fly
6. Children In Heat
7. Rat Fink
8. Horror Hotel
9. Halloween
10. Halloween II
11. Hatebreeders
12. Braineaters
13. Nike-A-Go-Go
14. Devil's Whorehouse
15. Mephisto Waltz
16. We Bite
17. Queen Wasp
18. Demonomania
19. Hellhound
20. Bloodfeast

Disc 1: Collection I & II
1. She
2. Hollywood Babylon
3. Horror Business
4. Teenagers From Mars
5. Night Of The Living Dead
6. Where Eagles Dare
7. Vampira
8. I Turned Into A Martian
9. Skulls
10. London Dungeon
11. Ghoul's Night Out
12. Astro Zombies
13. Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?
14. Die, Die My Darling
15. Cough/Cool
16. Children In Heat
17. Horror Hotel
18. Halloween
19. Halloween II
20. Hate Breeders
21. Braineaters
22. Nike-a-Go-Go
23. Devil's Whorehouse
24. Mephisto Waltz
25. Rat Fink
26. We Bite

Disc 2: Legacy Of Brutality, Evilive, & Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood
1. Static Age
2. TV Casualty
3. Hybrid Moments
4. Spinal Remains
5. Come Back
6. Some Kinda Hate
7. Theme For A Jackal
8. Angelfuck
9. Who Killed Marilyn?
10. Where Eagles Dare
11. She
12. Halloween
13. American Nightmare
14. 20 Eyes (Live)
15. Night Of The Living Dead (Live)
16. Astro Zombies (Live)
17. Horror Business (Live)
18. London Dungeon (Live)
19. Nike-a-Go-Go (Live)
20. Hate Breeders (Live)
21. Devil's Whorehouse (Live)
22. All Hell Breaks Loose (Live)
23. Horror Hotel (Live)
24. Ghoul's Night Out (Live)
25. We Are 138 (Live)
26. Earth A.D.
27. Queen Wasp
28. Devilock
29. Death Comes Ripping
30. Green Hell
31. Wolfsblood
32. Demonomania
33. Bloodfeast
34. Hellhound

Disc 3: Studio Sessions
1. Cough/Cool -- 1977 - Session A
2. She -- 1977 -- Session A
3. Who Killed Marilyn? -- Session B
4. Where Eagles Dare -- Session B
5. Horror Business -- Session B
6. Teenagers From Mars -- Session B
7. Children In Heat -- Session B
8. Night Of The Living Dead -- Songshop Studio -- Session C
9. Where Eagles Dare -- Song Shop Studio -- Session C
10. Vampira -- Song Shop Studio -- Session C
11. Violent World  -- Song Shop Studio -- Session C
12. Who Killed Marilyn -- Song Shop Studio -- Session C
13. Spook City USA -- Song Shop Studio --Session C
14. Horror Business -- Song Shop Studio -- Session C
15. I Turned Into A Martian -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
16. Skulls -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
17. Night Of The Living Dead -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
18. Astro Zombies -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
19. Where Eagles Dare -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
20. Violent World -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
21. Halloween II -- 9/5/80 Master Sound Prod. -- Session D
22. 20 Eyes -- 8/81 Reel Platinum -- Session E
23. I Turned Into A Martian -- 8/81 Reel Platinum -- Session E
24. Astro Zombies -- 8/81 Reel Platinum -- Session E
25. Vampira -- 8/81 Reel Platinum - Session E
26. Devil's Whorehouse -- 8/81 Reel Platinum -- Session E
27. Nike-A-Go-Go -- Mix-o-Lydian or Newsoundland -- Session F
28. Hate Breeders -- Unknown Studio -- Session G
29. 20 Eyes -- Unknown Studio -- Session H
30. Violent World -- Unknown Studio -- Session H

Disc 4: Static Age
1. Static Intro
2. Static Age
3. TV Casualty
4. Some Kinda Hate
5. Last Caress
6. Return of The Fly
7. Hybrid Moments
8. We Are 138
9. Teenagers From Mars
10. Come Back
11. Angelfuck
12. Hollywood Babylon
13. Attitude
14. Bullet
15. Theme For A Jackal
16. Static Outro

1. Abominable Dr. Phibes
2. American Psycho
3. Speak Of The Devil
4. Walk Among Us
5. The Hunger
6. From Hell They Came
7. Dig Up Her Bones
8. Blacklight
9. Resurrection
10. This Island Earth
11. Crimson Ghost
12. Day of The Dead
13. The Haunting
14. Mars Attacks
15. Hate The Living, Love The Dead
16. Shining
17. Don't Open 'til Doomsday

1. Dig Up Her Bones
2. Hate The Living, Love The Dead

1. Static Age
2. TV Casualty
3. Some Kinda Hate
4. Last Caress
5. Return of The Fly
6. Hybrid Moments
7. We Are 138
8. Teenagers From Mars
9. Come Back
10. Angelfuck
11. Hollywood Babylon
12. Attitude
13. Bullet
14. Theme For A Jackal
15. She
16. Spinal Remains
17. In The Doorway

Note: This album was recorded in 1978, and meant to be their first full-length. However, they couldn't find a label to put it out, so instead Danzig released some of the tracks on the Bullet single through his new label, Plan 9. As the band's line-up and sound changed, a release of these sessions never came to fruition. They were first available nearly in full on the box set released in 1996, and then Static Age was finally given a proper release in 1997, even though "only" one member in the band at the time had actually appeared on these sessions.

1. Intro/Abominable Dr. Phibes
2. American Psycho
3. Walk Among Us
4. The Hunger
5. From Hell They Came
6. Speak Of The Devil
7. Last Caress
8. Dig Up Her Bones
9. American Nightmare
10. Day Of The Dead
11. Hate The Living, Love The Dead
12. Shining
13. Don't Open 'til Doomsday
14. This Island Earth
15. Where Eagles Dare
16. Bullet
17. Vampira
18. The Haunting
19. Die, Die My Darling

1. I Wanna Be A NY Ranger (feat. John Cafiero)

1. Kong At The Gates
2. The Forbidden Zone
3. Lost In Space
4. Dust To Dust
5. Crawling Eye
6. Witch Hunt
7. Scream!
8. Saturday Night
9. Pumpkin Head
10. Scarecrow Man
11. Die Monster Die
12. Living Hell
13. Descending Angel
14. Them
15. Fiend Club
16. Hunting Humans
17. Helena
18. Kong Unleashed

1. Monster Mash
2. Monster Mash (Live)

1. Dead Kings Rise
2. Blacklight
3. The Haunting
4. The Hunger
5. Mars Attacks
6. Dr. Phibes Rises Again
7. I Got A Right (The Stooges cover)
8. Monster Mash
9. I Wanna Be A NY Ranger
10. Scream (Demo)
11. 1,000,000 Years B.C.
12. Helena 2
13. Devil Doll
14. Fiend Without A Face
15. Bruiser
16. No More Moments
17. Rise Above (Black Flag cover) 

1. Misfits - Day The Earth Caught Fire
2. Balzac - The Haunting/Don't Open 'til Doomsday

1. This Magic Moment
2. Dream Lover
3. Diana
4. Donna
5. Great Balls Of Fire
6. Latest Flame
7. Monster Mash
8. Only Make Believe
9. Runaway
10. You Belong To Me

1. Angel Baby
2. Death Of A Fallen Angel

1. Land Of The Dead
2. Twilight Of The Dead

1. The Devil's Rain
2. Vivid Red
3. Land Of The Dead
4. The Black Hole
5. Twilight Of The Dead
6. Curse Of The Mummy's Hand
7. Cold In Hell
8. Unexplained
9. Dark Shadows
10. Father
11. Jack The Ripper
12. Monkey's Paw
13. Where Do They Go?
14. Sleepwalkin'
15. Ghost Of Frankenstein
16. Death Ray

1. The Devil's Rain
2. Vivid Red
3. Land Of The Dead
4. Curse Of The Mummy's Hand
5. Cold In Hell
6. Dark Shadows
7. Death Ray
8. Shining
9. American Psycho
10. Dig Up Her Bones
11. Scream!
12. Helena
13. Science Fiction/Double Feature
14. Saturday Night

1. Descending Angel
2. Science Fiction / Double Feature

1. You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
2. Island Of Misfit Toys
3. Blue Christmas

1. Vampire Girl
2. Zombie Girl

1. Friday The 13th
2. Nightmare On Elm Street
3. Laser Eye
4. Mad Monster Party

Friday, 14 October 2016

Ink & Dagger

For the entire duration of its existence, hardcore has always been a forward-thinking genre. One would like to think that, at least. Perhaps one of the most definitive testaments to that is Philadelphia's Ink & Dagger, whose originality can truly be deemed objective. Simply put, there has been no other act like them, before or after. To start by focusing solely on the music, Ink & Dagger crafted such off-kilter rhythms that could make the listener almost feel uncomfortable, since they would go so against the natural progression that a song would usually go. Being caught off guard is an immediate guarantee that what's about to heard will be nothing short of captivating. And that it is. To describe their experimental sound is futile, since it doesn't sound like anything else. It sounds like Ink & Dagger, if that makes any sense. In addition, they had one of the most charismatic frontmen in punk rock history, Sean McCabe (who unfortunately died a year later after they broke up, at the age of 27). Him, along with guitarist Don Devore were the only two consistent members of Ink & Dagger, and definitely deserve to be credited as the masterminds behind this explosively unique project.

Of course a band's music is the priority part of their act, and as I've already stated, Ink & Dagger shot out of a different universe on that front. However, another part of what's solidified their legacy is their stage antics. They are perhaps one of few bands who can present legitimate "art pieces" on stage, and not come off as a group of pretentious pricks. For one, they would often perform in make-up. More specifically, dressed like vampires. From videos I've seen, and various stories floating around the internet, it sounds like Ink & Dagger had one of the most insane live shows ever, incorporating fake blood, strobe lights, coffins, and of course the classic vampire get-ups. McCabe also seems to have been notorious for being a bit of a shit disturber (i.e. throwing yogurt at an Earth Crisis show), for lack of a better way to put it. If his goal was to upset people's comfort zones and their own natural order, then that he did extremely well. As a personal (read: pretentious) note, that's what punk/hardcore has always been about. Not necessarily politicizing everything and taking a stance, but upsetting the natural order of things and making others question themselves and be taken out of their own safe-havens, regardless of where they stood morally, politically, you name it. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's something that's always really attracted me to the mystique of Ink & Dagger.

On a final note, since I just realized I forgot to mention this earlier, Ink & Dagger were initially around from 1995 to 1999. They put out two full-lengths and a handful of 7"'s, all of which are included below. In 2010 and 2011, the band reunited, with Geoff Rickly on vocals. They headlined This Is Hardcore and toured the UK. Not sure what else to say here, besides Ink & Dagger are an essential band for anyone looking to really hear something different, and to return to my very first sentiment, forward-thinking. Enjoy.

Edit: And yes, Eric Wareheim (of Tim & Eric fame) did play bass for them at one point

1. The Changeling
2. Frigid Shortcomings
3. Newspaper Tragedy
4. Bloodlust
5. My Ladylove

1. The Road To Hell
2. Shadowtalker
3. Caretaker
4. Full Circle
5. The Changeling
6. Frigid Shortcomings
7. Newspaper Tragedy
8. Bloodlust
9. My Ladylove
10. Crawler

1. Philapsychosis
2. 13th Dream
3. 13th Dream [JG's Remix]

1. The Fine Art Of Original Sin
2. Philapsychosis
3. We Live Despite Their Schemes
4. Cut-Throat Tactics
5. The Six Feet Under Swindle
6. The History In Ecstasy
7. VampireFastCode Ver. 1.5
8. The Fine Art Of Original Sin (The GFS Resonant Mix)

1. Ink & Dagger - Catch The Flashback
2. Le Shok - Electric Digits

1. Mayor Withdrawal
2. Part Time Prophet

1. She Came Crashing
2. Sweet Relief Of Revenge
3. Sarcastic Sunrise
4. The Lines Of Lies
5. Part Time Prophet
6. Den Of Scorpio
7. Absinthe
8. Lolita
9. Creatures Like Us
10. Omit
11. Facedremer