American Psycho



by ExitWound USER (3 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 52 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

The Misfits - American Psycho

This Misfits have been around for over a quarter of a century, plaguing us with tales of horror and fear. But you have to realize that bands do not usually last that long. It's always 'internal disputes' or 'the direction', or even money, that has led to a breakup. The Misfits are no exception. Over the decades, their lineup has changed more times than most bands could ever handle. But one thing that has remained untouchable was Jerry's love for the undead and the frightful and his ability to portray it within his music.

The albums have always had some focus, whether it was our subconscious attraction to the fears and hate that we all try to hide from, or just the everyday ghouls and zombies of Halloween. The gimmicks of masks and facial paint just pushed the point a little further. When you see Jerry with his Deathlocks, your immediate response is not one of disgust, but of intrigue. And while countless other bands resort to gimmicks to sell records, the Misfits have always done it as an accessory to their already incredible atmosphere.

It had been a while since the last Misfits release, banning the box sets and greatest hits, before American Psycho hit the scene. And when word got out that the lineup would include a new drummer AND lead vocalist, everyone was a skeptic. Long time fans were biased towards Glenn Danzig, saying no one would ever top the unique vibe he gave the band, and that his voice was key to their ghoulish progress.

There were demos released, which can now be found on the Misfits release [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005R8F5/ref=m_art_li_10/104-6982413-8616756"v=glance&s=music]Cuts from the Crypt[/url]. The sound was, at the core, the same Misfits we've had for two decades. The production was beyond comparison, finally giving the band the deep growling guitars and thud to the bass drum that it deserved. The intricacies of Jerry's bass could be distinguished amongst the other instruments, allowing you to not only hear the notes, but feel them. Each tom was tuned as low as can go, and Chud's custom bass drum and floor toms, created a solid foundation. But what was most obvious was Michale Graves, the new vocalist.

If I had to describe Michale's sound in one phrase, it would have to be "What Elvis would sound like if he was punk". He 'uh-huhs' and rocks with the swing of the disc in a way that Danzig could never do. There's a large gap between he and Danzig, and I would call that "emotion". I never really had a liking to Danzig's sound, but it worked well for the band. Graves, on the other hand, takes his emotions and puts them at the heart of his voice, rather than his image. He has a naturally higher range than Danzig, somehow removing the element of fear from the lyrics. But when his lungs open up, and the oohs and aahs penetrate the choruses, Graves really emanates the Misfits sound.

American Psycho takes up where the Misfits left us years before. There was no change in the theme, or efforts, of the band. They didn't try to redefine who they were because of the new lineup. They didn't try to recreate their sound in a totally new way. What they did, instead, was stick to what they do best, and what Jerry has always done -- give us the tales of gore and horror the fans have flocked to. Because of Graves' new range, the vocals become much more open to accompaniment. The melodies are much more defined in this release, which in turn makes the music sound a little more "happy" and uplifting. But deep down, the Misfits are still the Misfits.

Many have scrutinized Graves' sound, stating that it's too different, and too good. The raw sound the Misfits had was gone, they say, replaced with perfection and obvious production tweaks. Their argument that Graves' voice wasn't right for the band was the biggest gripe. And to this day, many have dismissed the post-1995 Misfits as rubbish, an echo of a once-godlike figure.

The music is just as powerful, and just as eerie as it always was, though. The focus of the lyrics has been altered slightly towards science fiction and horror movies, with songs such as This Island Earth, and Mars Attacks. But if you read the lyrics, you won't find synopsis of the screenplay, but just a hint at its concept. For instance, Hate the Living, Love the Dead tells the tale of The Bride of Frankenstein, its catchy chorus singing "Put me together with the bodies of the dead/And I will wait for life and breath again/Scalpels, scissors, stitches, skin/Wake this eternal sleep she's in/And we'll breed for you on your command". And while many pre-1995 Misfits fans will denounce these as petty and immature, I am intrigued by their ability to translate movie themes into "Misfits" pieces.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes was shortened from the demo version on Cuts from the Crypt, not to my liking. While the final version serves as a leadup to American Psycho, I enjoy the full 6 minute version far more. The disc weighs in at 39:34. The inclusion of the full track would have been welcome.There's also a hidden track, at the end of the disc following a few minutes of silence called Hell Night, written partially by the album's producer Daniel Rey. The music is fast, with downstrokes a plenty from Doyle's Annihilator, in typical Misfits fashion and cymbal crashes galore. Chud does a fantastic job at bringing the bottom end together with Jerry's Devastator.

A few music videos have been released for this disc to the MTV world. Dig Up Her Bones and Scream were wildly popular worldwide. The new Misfits were back, and stronger than ever. Michael Graves didn't have Deathlocks, but his skeletal makeup was the highpoint in the visuals. His blonde hair broke the typical Misfit appearance, eventually defining the line between the original Misfits and the new era. Graves was key in making the new sound work.

Overall Rating

I love this disc. At under 40 minutes, it's very short. I continuously crave for more. But with Graves on vocals and Chud's custom kit -- consisting of floor toms crafted from two 22" bass drums bolted together, and a bass drum made of a 28" bass drum and a 30" bass drum connected midway -- the sound is much more vibrant and solid than any previous misfits release. Jerry has done a marvelous job at recreating the Misfits atmosphere, both in sound and image. And while many people might find the lyrics dumbed down, I argue that converting classic horror films to popular rock n roll is not an easy thing. Jerry and company gave us one heck of a comeback album with American Psycho. This is a disc not to be missed.

I recommend this to all fans of rock n roll with an edge. You won't be disappointed. All Misfits fans should give Graves a chance and look beyond history. You'll find that the Misfits are more than just a band, but a love for science fiction and horror placed within the music world.

Rating: 4 out of 5 thumbs up!! :thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::upset:

user ratings (481)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 2nd 2004


Pretty good review, I wish you would have gone into describe each song on the album, but still a great review. I agreed with most of the stuff you said.

Glen Danzig was the Misfits, but Michael Graves did a pretty good job on this album.

I would give it a 4/5.

May 2nd 2004


I don't like to do track by track reviews very much. To me, albums are more than just one track after another. The entire disc has a 'feeling' or an ambience that it's trying to portray. A dsic that spatters different vibes and tones, to me, doesn't flow very well, and therefore doesn't grab my attention. It's akin to reviewing chapters in a book, saying that Chapter 4 is better than Chapter 16. To me, that's just not possible. The album is an entity amongst itself. There are exceptions of course, such as my review of Weird Al's Poodle Hat. Since he is a parody artist, track by track is necessary. I may edit and do a track by track analysis though, depending on how the rest of the comments fan out.

Why did you edit your post? It was a good synopsis of your Misfit involvement.

May 2nd 2004


I understand why you didn't do a song by song review, but for people that maybe looking to buy the album, it really helps them to review each song, all though you did point out the highlights of the album which can substitute for a track by track review. The review was great and you went into depth which is great about the band.

I edited my post, because I didn't feel I could put everything in it that I wanted to, without making a extermly long post. The Misfits have been a big influnce on me, more Danzig era then Graves, but this album is a must buy in my opinion and this is the album that introduced me to The Misfits, when it was first released. Without this album I wouldn't haven learned about the Misfits at such a young age and have them influnce me they way that they have.

August 7th 2004


Excellent review!
I prefer danzig's voice. But Graves was very good as well.
My favourite songs on this album are American psycho and Crimson ghost.

October 6th 2004


this album kick ***, i recommend it :D. MISFITS RULE

January 3rd 2005


I never really could get into the new Misfits. I think some of it is ok, but some of it is a little tasteless. The old MIsfits are better.

April 24th 2005


I think your review is ruined cause you keep calling the hair style 'devillock' a 'deathlock'...shows what a true fan you are...

but other than that noyying mistake, good review. and also, micheal doesnt sound like elvis if he was punk, danzig sounds like elvis...if he was how he is. micheal sounds like a backstreet boy, which adds to the scare of having a backstreet boy say something like "if I cut off your arms, and cut off your legs.". I also think that micheal is by far better than danzig...danzig sings best in danzig and not with the msifits. I also think micheal sounds better live than on cds, so if your going to buy a micheal graves era cd, get cuts from the crypt.

November 23rd 2005


excellent cd, pretty good review could have been better

November 23rd 2005


I think the Misfits are pretty monotonous and boring, though it is fun to shout along with songs like "TV Casualty". Danzig can't sing at all.

December 25th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

this band is the defeniton of punk and michale graves was better than glen

March 8th 2006


im nt a fan of the "new luk" misfits at all theres a few gud songs bt they suck mostly i f.u.c.k.i.n.g worship danzig's misfits there are the best and u no it...... and whoeva sed danzig cundnt sing is crazy, punk is not about having gud voice its about anarchy n telling the "man" 2 shove it up his fat a.s.s thats y misfits r such a gud band they played completely different 2 other punk bands of that time.

I love Asa!
March 17th 2006


Misfits are totally awsome!!!

March 24th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

im nt a fan of the "new luk" misfits at all theres a few gud songs bt they suck mostly i f.u.c.k.i.n.g worship danzig's misfits there are the best and u no it...... and whoeva sed danzig cundnt sing is crazy, punk is not about having gud voice its about anarchy n telling the "man" 2 shove it up his fat a.s.s thats y misfits r such a gud band they played completely different 2 other punk bands of that time.

.... Wow. Seriously, stop talking. You're an embarassment to punks everywhere.

That out of the way, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. I really do have to agree that Danzig did much better in his solo work. In his time with the 'Fits, his voice was untrained and still building up strength. In addition, Rick Rubin was a producer who knew how to utilize Glenn's voice best.

The whole lo-fi production elitism thing bugs me. The whole thing started because a couple of bands didn't have the money to get more slick production, so they had to work with what they had. Then a bunch of lamers comes along saying it makes the band more tr00 or whatever the hell they call it, and then start emulating it even though they have the money for better production.

Besides that, the Graves era also has better overall musicianship. The full version of Dr. Phibes Rises Again is proof enough of that. In the time between Earth AD and American Psycho, Doyle really got some chops.

To sum up, great album.

March 29th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

I'm really digging Mars Attacks at the moment.


March 29th 2006


I like some of the stuff they did with graves, there are really a few great tracks, but like said before; hes no Danzig. Also like said above, the musicianship on the newer albums is much better then the classic ones.

April 3rd 2006


[quote=Eliminator Jr.]Danzig can't sing at all.[/quote]

Digging: Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here

April 6th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

i loved the america phycho ablum it was one of the great one's

April 6th 2006


This is one of the better albums they have put out under new line-up ,and without Danzig


April 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I dont really care for Danzigs sound, so to me Graves, Only, Doyle, and Chud are the Misfits no question...

As for today...The Misfits are a joke...

Jerry Only is balding and is still trying to have a DEVILOCK

I dont like DEZ atol and I have no clue what happened to Doyle!!

Could someone please tell me what happened to him?

April 7th 2006


[quote=jeff777]I dont really care for Danzigs sound, so to me Graves, Only, Doyle, and Chud are the Misfits no question...[/quote]
Nahh, Danzig WAS the original Misfits, along with Only.
I prefer Glenn, just my opinion though.

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