Reissued 1997 Caroline (1978 Mercury/Blank)
The debut release from seminal "horrorpunk" band the Misfits may just be my favorite punk record of all time. For one thing,
the line up on this one, to me, is the REAL Misfits. The SOUND is the REAL Misfits. Everything ABOUT this record is what was
great about the Misfits... dark lyrics, centered around b-movie themes, science fiction, and 1950's American pop culture.
The sound is like a raw take on elements of 50's and 60's pop, rockabilly, rythm 'n blues, and bubblegum. Not to mention the
fact that Glenn Danzig's contribution to the band will never be matched. Both his lyrics and vocals made this album that much
better. He recalls images of the Fonz, or the young Elvis Presley... Crybaby Walker... the Outsiders. Cool guys. Hepcats.
The first 2 tracks, "Static Age" and "TV Casualty" are pretty similar, mostly one-chord except the choruses, very droning
and slow. The next song, and probably my favorite, "Some Kinda Hate", picks up the pace, with an early rythm 'n blues-style
riff and all about feel to it. The words "bubblegum" and "feel-good" keep coming to mind, despite the lyrics, which include:
Little tortured babies in pain
Cracked necks by severed limbs
They don't hesitate...
Also on the album are several classic Misfits songs, including "We Are 138", "Teenagers From Mars", "Hollywood Babylon",
"Bullet", and "She", the latter of which didn't make the final cut at the original time of release. "She" and "Spinal Remains"
were released on Misifts collections, and the last track, "In the Doorway" was NEVER put out until now, and ironically so,
since it's probably the most marketable song on the whole record. Other great songs are "Last Caress", "Return of the Fly",
"Hybrid Moments", "Attitude", and Angelfuck", all of which are pop at it's best. "Comeback" is in the same vein as the first
2 tracks, and "Theme for a Jackal" is very rockabilly-influenced.
Just for the sake of context
*During the short course of recording, Glenn walks in with Ann Beverly, Sid Vicious' mother (the album was recorded in
NYC around the time Sid OD'ed). Glenn, always the gentleman, explains that her son died the previous night, and he didn't
think she should be alone (AWWWWWW). So she sat in.
*Another visitor was the guy who wrote the music for One Life to Live and General Hospital, who hung around for an hour
with the band. I guess he was really hypnotised by it, but thought the music could be "a little softer". hahahahaha
*The band only had so many hours to record, as Mercury was givin em the runaround. So they only had a few takes for each
song, but then again i guess that's what made the record sound so "punk rock". We won't bitch TOO much
this is probably one of my top 5 punk releases ever, and I would say a "must have" for any punk's collection. Give it a
shot. You might just find yourself watching Ed Wood movies and cutting all the sleeves off your black t-shirts...
Reviewed by Sam Sinister.