It’s really happening. The original Misfits will reunite at Denver’s Riot Fest this weekend! Vocalist Glenn Danzig and bassist Jerry Only have resolved their differences, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein’s back on guitar and they’ve roped in ex-Slayer drumming demigod Dave Lombardo, too. While we could ruminate over their perfect setlist, here’s 10 banging tracks that the horror punk legends will most likely omit from their comeback extravaganza…
10. Cough/Cool (1977)
Culled from the band’s early sessions and serving as their first official single, Cough/Cool has more in common with New York’s artsy, keyboard-driven beatnik scene than it does B-movies and shouting “woah-oah-oah!” with your mates. It’s gritty and, dare we say, urban. Still, even back then, Danzig’s hooks were undeniable; imagine screaming along as Evil Elvis snarls, “Cover your face when you walk by!” before going absolutely mental to the frenetic keyboard outro then – BANG! – something like Death Comes Ripping arrives.
9. Dig Up Her Bones (1997)
The Michale Graves records had some great moments. No, really, they did. American Psycho, in particular, still kicked you in the arse with a pair of Dr. Martens. Just with, well, metal toe caps. Heavy metal toe caps. Graves’ silky drawl in the verses could easily be matched – and even bettered – by a rabid Danzig if he decided to turn up and own it. And Christ, the image of Only, Danzig and Doyle shouting, in unison, “Point me to the sky above!” is tantamount to winning the lottery and getting through an entire season of Game Of Thrones without spoilers.
8. Dr. Phibes Rises Again (2001)
All right, they’re never gonna play this one – it’s nearly seven minutes long and the Misfits are only doing 75 minutes on Sunday, so classics must be given priority. Still, the muscular, metaller-than-thou riffing of Dr. Phibes Rises Again would be an intense opener. Lombardo counting everyone in on the cymbals. Jerry and Doyle thrashing away, Jerry handling vocals seeing as, well, he’s done it for the past decade or so; allowing him this would get it out of his system. And then, as the poignant line “Rises again!” rings out… Darkness. Danzig. Skulls or Halloween or something equally amazing to follow.
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7. Vivid Red (2011)
This second cut from The Devil’s Rain doesn’t suck at all, it’s just… it’d be so much better with Danzig tearing through it and not sounding like Pat Boone. We love Jerry, bless him, but when he sings “The horrors that I see, the Hell that surrounds me”, he’s just delivering words from a page. Danzig could take this devilish ditty and give it some (fuckin’) attitude, leaving Jerry and Doyle to shout “VIVID RED!” for two minutes.
6. The Forbidden Zone (1999)
Graves’ second outing with the band, Famous Monsters, wasn’t as rough and ready as American Psycho, nor was its quality anywhere near as high. It did, however, boast a few absolute bangers, The Forbidden Zone being one of them. Its chorus’ vocal harmonies are to (un)die for, and it’d be an absolute treat to hear Only and Danzig tackle them live. Then again, it might sound shite, but if they nailed that “All the evidence destroyed” part, it’d be unadulterated black magic.
5. She (1978)
The B-side to Cough/Cool’s single back in 1977, She was originally devoid of guitar. Thankfully, the boys beefed it up a year later, leading to the version you probably know and love from 1986’s Collection I. Lyrically, it focusses on Patty Hearst’s abduction in 1974; even in their early days, the Misfits were more than just brains for dinner, lunch and any other meal/snack times. Again, it’s just one of those all-time classic Danzig vocal lines that doesn’t rely on gang shouts – She lives and dies with Danzig, and that’s a beautiful thing.
4. Helena (1999)
Going back into Famous Monsters territory now, and with good reason. Helena is an absolute anthem. The dunderheaded, thrashing mid-section; the “Der! Der! Der!” call and response opening riff; the undeniably sick yet foot-tappingly catchy refrain: “If I cut off your arms and I cut off your legs, would you still love me anyway?” Graves’ delivery was sincere but slightly cartoony. Those lines rolling from Danzig’s tongue would ensure complete, utter devotion from the audience. Either way, it’s clear someone’s enjoyed the 1993 film Boxing Helena.
3. Shining (1997)
Here’s round two for American Psycho. We’ve just thrown this one in to see if Danzig can handle the key change in the song’s final chorus. Well, that and the fact that Shining is the rawest, catchiest song the Misfits ever recorded without their original frontman.
2. The Devil’s Rain (2011)
Another one from the Misfits’ latest album, The Devil’s Rain, that was surely conceived with Danzig in mind. “It’s pouring down, it’s come for you. The Devil’s rain!” could have been nicked straight from Danzig’s Deth Red Sabaoth (released a year prior, coincidentally) and honestly, this would be a cracking, atmospheric number with Glenn at the helm. Yes, we know it’s not Astro Zombies, but it’s spooky in its own way.
1. Raining Blood (1986)
They’ve covered everything from Black Flag to The Rocky Horror Picture Show over the course of their career and it’d just be rude not to, right? We just want to see the original line-up. How much are last-minute flights?