Review Summary: The Misfits are back!
I love the Misfits. Everything about them inspires me and my music continually. They had soaring melodies, catchy riffs, b-movie horror lyrics and a punk attitude. In total, they were the perfect punk band... and then Glenn Danzig left. When replacement vocalist Michale Graves joined, their music was good at best, but they were never the same old classic Misfits everyone fell in love with. They had been reduced to 'that skeleton thing all the emo kids wear on their t-shirts'. I started to doubt if I could ever find a band that could live up to the status of the Misfits. Sure, the Ramones and the Descendents were very close, but the Misfits had something that nobody else did. I thought they were one of a kind... and then I found Calabrese
Calabrese are a trio comprised of the Calabrese brothers. Bobby on guitar and vocals, Jimmy on bass and vocals and Davey on drums. All three started playing at a very young age together, and it shows well. Their musicianship is so tight, it sounds almost programmed. The instruments are all phenomenal. Relentless drumming, precise strumming, simple melodic riffs, and just enough melody in Bobby and Jimmy's voice to let them harmonize, but still keep that punk-sounding growl.
To be more specific, the guitar and bass are not complex in any way. They simply add to the melody of every song in such a way that if you changed the slightest detail to their playing, it just might ruin the song. Everything sounds fantastic and it's obvious they care about what they do; they're not just in it for the money. The drums are phenomenal. Davey pounds the sh*t out of his kit with such ferocity I'm surprised it lasted for the entire 12 tracks. His shining moments being on Voices of the Dead
and Night In The Lonesome October
. The shared vocals between Bobby and Jimmy are near flawless. Jimmy growls and is the more punk sounding singer, while Bobby has a more melodic sound and sounds a hell of a lot like a younger Danzig. The only problem I have is that Bobby can push his voice a little too far, sounding like a choking cat, but those moments are rare and don't occur too much (probably around 2-3 times throughout the album).
The lyrics are everything one would want from a b-movie horror punk band. Ranging from the delightfully cheesy We get ourself tattooed with images of death. You know the wicked never rest. We'll listen to the music that no one seems to care. It's our life and yes... we're dead
on Saturday Night of the Living Dead
to the catchy crooning of When you know you have no friends, you listen to the dead. The dead know where to go. Back into the world where no one knows you're alive, you'll burn in hell.
on Voices of the Dead
and all the way to the timeless Your parents hate us now, and we don't really care. We still leave the house when midnight comes. They'll never understand.
on Inside This Coffin
. Unless you lived a near-perfect life, the latter can apply to everybody everywhere.
If you were or are a fan of the Misfits, please do yourself a favor and listen to Voices of the Dead
. It's the closest thing we will get to a modern Misfits track and I couldn't be happier about it. The vocals are superb, the instrument are superb, and everybody is given enough time to shine on their own instrument.
This is how music today should be.