The setup for Skeletons is mouthwatering – the genre-smashing visionary that is Glenn Danzig surveys a lifetime of influences, cherry-picking a succulent array of meaty anthems and juicy deep cuts and recasts them through his obscenely darkened vision.
With a tracklist co-mingling croony standards by Elvis and the Everly Brothers with sleazy belters from Aerosmith, Sabbath and others, Skeletons lacks neither variety nor ambition. The finished product, however, falls badly short of the bar raised by Danzig’s previous work.
Instead, Skeletons is a sluggish, 10-track pratfall mired in swampy, lo-fi production and atonal jam room vocals. Cuts like Aerosmith’s sizzling shagfest Lord Of The Thighs, and the Troggs’ A Girl Like You are stripped of all nuance and dynamics, plodding along without any of the swagger or menace that infused his earliest works with such heroic vitality. Frustratingly, there’s little sense of any effort to hammer these tracks into something uniquely Danzig-esque – a sharp contrast to inspired covers from Danzig acolytes like Metallica and Type O Negative.
While Devil’s Angels and Find Somebody offer flashes of his Misfits-era, bare-knuckled brutality, Skeletons feels more like a random assortment of early demos and rehearsal tapes destined for the odds-and-sods CD of a box set, never to be visited again.