This is sort of spawned off the Johnny Ramone topic (but is unrelated in subject matter), but I couldn't believe there are people who enjoyed the Misfits' Project 1950 album.
Project 1950, like Cuts From the Crypt before it, is a stalling album. It's a big sign that the Misfits are out of steam and creatively have nothing left. A demos album and a covers album back to back (several years apart, no less) is not a good sign. Of course, since there is only ONE Misfits member still in the band, I guess that's to be expected. It's amusing to hear Jerry Only singing - he seems to think he has an outstanding voice. He doesn't sound like a lead vocalist, he sounds like a bass player who had everyone quit on him because they couldn't stand him. It's a shame his ego (when it isn't busy driving off singers, drummers, and guitarists - including his brother) won't let him go out and get a real vocalist. I'm sure there are dozens - maybe hundreds, even - of great singers who would crap their pants to be given the opportunity to become the new Misfits singer.
I remember going to the store with my friend who got me into the Misfits like 13 years ago. I talked him into buying Project 1950 because I didn't want to spend cash on it...I had a feeling what it would be like. I can't stand the fact that they're even calling themselves the Misfits, they're just as much Black Flag and Ramones as they are Misfits. When I saw them a while back they played just as many Flag and Ramones songs as they did Misfits songs. Hey, I love those three bands, but mixing them together is not chocolate and peanut butter, it's mustard and milk.
We got to his place, put it on, and as soon as the first track was 10 seconds in, we were just laughing our asses off. Project 1950 is a Misfits album in name only. It's good for "funny" value; we actually made a short film and used the "This Magic Moment" cover during the credits because it called for an obnoxiously bad song. We went through the rest of the disc and I think the only song we weren't totally disgusted by was the "Diana" cover, and that's probably just because we were surprised to hear the sax in it. This album was the only time I can ever remember feeling embarassed to be listening to something, even though it was only the two of us in the room.
And don't get me started on how lame the band looked on that bonus DVD that comes with it - although that's going outside the realm of the music and just into the musicians themselves.
The earlier Graves-era stuff was certainly not as fresh or agressive or memorable as the Danzig era stuff, but it was still a modest attempt to get back into it amongst a sea of "ITZ GONG 2 FUKING SUC WITH OUT GLENN" fan talk. Yeah, it wasn't the same, but it wasn't intended to be. It was different but it was still decent. The current stuff is different as well, but it's lazy and uninspired.
I can't figure out why people couldn't find more than "Saturday Night" to like on Famous Monsters unless you're really stuck on that 50's sounding stuff. There are several good songs on there, Saturday Night included.
How can you like the old Misfits stuff and not at least get a small kick out of "Forbidden Zone" or "Scream?" I know some of the stuff on the American Psycho is leaning a little more towards metal than people are used to so that may turn some people off (not me), but if you like the Misfits and you don't like "The Haunting," something is wrong.
Regarding the original Danzig-era Misfits...well...I wish I was born in the late 60's instead of the late 70's so I could have been a part of that scene.
I'm not shitting on anyone's opinion; to each their own. I was just honestly surprised to see people liked the P1950 album, a lot of my friends like the band (ranging from younger people who are in high school now to some older friends I have that went to the originals "last show" in Detroit in 1983), and they all can't stand it.
Things just weren't the same after Jerry had that cage match with Dr. Death on Nitro.
Originally posted by KaneRobotProject 1950, like Cuts From the Crypt before it, is a stalling album. It's a big sign that the Misfits are out of steam and creatively have nothing left. A demos album and a covers album back to back (several years apart, no less) is not a good sign.
The Misfits were out of steam and creatively had nothing left the moment (the very moment) Glenn Danzig left the band. Those two albums with Michale Graves, while not really being his fault, were absolutely horrible. At least the Project 1950 stuff sounded like it was fun to make rather than a laborious turd made solely to scam money off a bunch of dumb kids that bought Misfits stickers because that skull is cool.
The reason there was all that "it's going to fucking suck without Glenn" talk was because not a single member of that band really meant anything to their creative direction, their sound, or their lyrics other than Danzig. And hey, they were right. American Psycho was a parody of the Misfits, and Famous Monsters had two good songs ("Saturday Night" and I've recently rediscovered I like "Helena"). Come on, "Fiend Club"? "Pumpkinhead"? It was total garbage.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think Project 1950 is GOOD, necessarily, but I found it a lot more enjoyable. At some level, it sounded a lot more like the real Misfits than the Graves albums did, partially because you had Cadena and Ramone alongside Jerry Only, rather than Doyle playing his clunky metal riffs and whatever drummer they were on then playing those big stadium-sounding drums.
but if you like the Misfits and you don't like "The Haunting," something is wrong.
The problem being that every single song from the Danzig era is superior. Every single one.
(EDIT: By the way, I appreciated the skull icon used for the topic)
I guess I just can't stand hearing a Misfits album with shitty vocals, that was always the appeal. It's not like we remember Walk Among Us because of the brilliant guitar work or intricate basslines. Jerry Only is a horrible singer, Graves was decent although certainly different from Glenn. I don't really care how much fun it sounds like the band was having when they made it, I just care about how good the music sounds to me.
I can't see why you'd think they were out of steam creatively when they put out two new studio albums that did ok by Misfits standards (outside of the ex-fans who refused to come along because they thought it was "blasphemy" or whatever). Maybe the lyrics weren't up to par (more on that in a minute), but they were better musicians so it was an ok trade. I guess for me it just comes down to the fact that I don't have to have "THIS IS A MISFITS ALBUM" running through my brain every second I'm listening to it. To me, American Psycho and Famous Monsters are decent albums no matter what the name of the band is. I almost wish they HAD just changed the name and then just played Misfits songs at shows, then they wouldn't have caught all this shit from people refusing to accept change.
Still, there is ZERO doubt with the most recent two albums though, because there's no original material on it! It's all covers and old demos...Jerry hasn't recorded a new song since 1999!
While I agree the more recent incarnations of the Misfits can't hold a candle to the originals, the originals DID have some stinkers in their catalogue that I'll gladly put something like "The Haunting" or "Dead Kings Rise" (which was only on the vinyl version of American Psycho, which is unfortunate as it was pretty nifty). Their "Ratt Fink" cover sucked. "Vampira" is a boring ditty that finds my skip track button every time. "Theme For a Jackal" was a clusterfuck. Halloween II, Spook City USA, Cough/Cool, Who Killed Marilyn...I'm a huge fan, but "every single one" being superior to every single song from the newer stuff is stretching it. Of course, there are practically an infinite number of versions of all the older songs I just listed out there so you can usually find a version somewhere that's not too bad. Hey, if the 90's Misfits put out 6 versions of "Them" and "Pumpkin Head," they'd probably manage to do at least one good one.
The entire Earth A.D. album (outside of maybe Bloodfeast) is love it or hate it with most people. I love it, but I know several fans that think it's the worst thing they've ever released because they "gave in to going ultra hardcore" or whatever. Those people need to be thrown under a train, but...I'm just saying.
It's funny you mentioned Pumpkin Head though...the morning that FM came out I went and picked it up. I heard it up through that song when I got to a friend's house, and he had already picked it up and listened to it. He answered the door singing "NOW THIS IS A STORRRYYYYYYY...." Funny stuff. It was a eerie precursor to the embarassment of listening to some of the stuff on Project 1950.
I do have to say one category that the originals just totally destroyed the newer versions in is lyrics. Danzig was just great at that aspect of it...I might not think that if he had just stopped after the Misfits because most of the song titles were just old horror movies and the lyrics were pretty much all the same subject matter. But he expanded a little with his Samhain stuff and some of his Danzig stuff, which made me appreciate the earlier stuff more. The New-Fits lyrics, penned by Jerry and maybe Graves I assume, are pathetic. The song titles aren't so hot either. "Don't Open 'Till Doomsday?" What the hell?
Oh well. It's just good to come across someone knowledgeable about the Misfits that can type coherently for a change.
Next up - Samhain! Or not.
(EDIT: By the way, I appreciated the skull icon used for the topic)
I totally dig what you're saying about the vocals and can see how that would totally turn you off. I actually thought Graves had a tremendous voice and maybe would have fit the band just fine if the songs were better.
Of course, there are practically an infinite number of versions of all the older songs I just listed out there so you can usually find a version somewhere that's not too bad.
Yeah, that's half the fun of the box set is all the alternate takes. Like one of the versions of "Violent World" (track 30 on disc 3, I believe) is, IMO, way better than the familiar recording of it.
I like Earth A.D. too. I've never quite understood why so many people didn't, other than I guess it was the first time they sounded serious about their music.
Some really amazing stuff came out of the Brill Building. Sometimes I'm sad that it's not around anymore. Good book: Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era (The W at Amazon) --K