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Danzig: Skeletons

Horror punk god fails to cover himself in glory

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.

Joe Daly
Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.