Friday, February 10, 2012

The Misfits Vs Dark Shadows

OK ... I don't think this isn't a terrible song. I just thought I'd get that sentiment out front before I get much deeper into this post, because longtime Misfits fans like myself can get a bit emotional and hyperbolic when discussing the Jerry Only-led Misfits.

As a refresher: the Misfits were a NJ-based punk band that operated with a fluctuating line-up between 1977 and 1983. After experimenting with Kenny Anger/Hollywood Babylon-style imagery in their early days, they quickly became a full-fledged horror punk band and gained a rabid following after they disbanded.  Singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig went on to bigger things and was later sued by the band's former bass player, Jerry Only, who won the right to use the name Misfits in a new line-up. Fans bitched and moaned and continue to rival Star Wars groupies in their vitriol. I own a Jedi costume and several Danzig t-shirts, which makes me an asshole authority on both subjects.

Jerry Only recently put out the "Mifits" first new album in 13 years. Titled The Devil's Rain, the album features a song called Dark Shadows (which you can listen to above) which is kinda sorta based on a TV show you might be familiar with. Given that the Misfits's songs have touched on everything from Night of the Living Dead to Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was only a matter of time before the Collins family put in an appearance on one of  their albums.

Only revealed in Rue Morgue #116 that the song's origins are a little more cynical, though. The bassist/singer has been patiently stalking director Tim Burton for year and tried to get their songs inspired by Planet of the Apes and Mars Attacks in his earlier films (without success.) He's trying, again, with Dark Shadows. Sigh.

As a fan of the Misfits I felt compelled to give the album a listen. Dark Shadows is one of the better songs on the album, but it's lyrically ... vague. It's got the catchy sing-along vibe that a Misfits song needs, but it could be about almost any character from Dark Shadows. At first I thought it was actually about Quentin Collins (which would have been a pleasant change) but no ... it appears to be about a vampire.

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