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Offline Ratty

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And it was interesting, if anyone here's a fan of punk rock I recommend going back and thoroughly exploring the discographies of these pioneers. The Ramones are particularly foundational to what we would understand as modern punk, mixing 50s rock'n roll, 60s pop and surf with a new raw energy. Hailing from New York, their trips to Britain directly inspired the punk movement there, which would sadly overshadow them in the media when bands they inspired like the Sex Pistols got big. But all of their albums are worth at least one listen, with the first 3 being undeniable classics.



I might be slightly misremembering the dates, but while the Ramones had a comparatively stable lineup as far as the leads and songwriting goes, The Misfits actually have 3 periods:
1. The original era in which all the material was written by Glenn Danzig (who would later go on to have solo success in the realm of metal) which took place from about 1978 to 1983 iirc.
2. When bassist Jerry Only got the rights to perform under the name "Misfits" and added singer Michael Graves in 1995, leading to the "Graves era" during which two albums were recorded.
3. Finally when Graves was fired and Jerry Only took over the lead vocals around 2000-2001, and barring a reunion show with Danzig last year he's pretty much been the vocalist and main songwriter ever since.

Fans will fight over which is better but the common consensus seems to be Danzig > Graves > Only in terms of songwriting and vocal performances. I will say this though, Jerry Only's songs are a lot more safe for work. Danzig era is my favorite but I would not be comfortable playing most of it in public due to lyrical content. Graves and Only era songs tend to have more of a goofy Halloween feel to them. I can appreciate both but can definitely see why many don't.

The Danzig era had the most variety in style, as Danzig himself was maturing and experimenting as an artist. "Static Age" (the best album imo and sadly not fully released until the 90s though recorded in the 70s) "Walk Among Us" and "Earth A.D. / Wolf's Blood" sound very different from each other. But here's a stab at a representative song with relatively safe for work lyrics.



Of the Graves-era albums I prefer the 2nd, "Famous Monsters", as it's not trying to be Danzig-like like much of the first Graves album "American Psycho" was. But I'm a sucker for any song about The Bride of Frankenstein and each of the Graves albums had one. In the case of American Psycho it was the single and music video.


I've seen it joked that "it's called the Jerry Only era because only Jerry likes it" but I like some of it. I think some people are just especially hostile to it because they dislike Jerry for behind-the-scenes/political reasons. IMO Jerry's work is best when he doesn't try to be too metal or too punk and just lets his love of 1950s rock/pop come through, as he did in the all-covers album "Project 1950". I think "The Devil's Rain" would be better appreciated if it'd been split into two albums, there's some good stuff in it.

Offline JR

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Re: So I recently listened to all The Ramones and Misfits studio albums
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 03:52:50 AM »
+1
I will say this though, Jerry Only's songs are a lot more safe for work.

Jerry ended up finding God and even mentioned in an interview that he regretted some of the things he did during the Danzig-era days. I remember hearing about his Christian side project, Kryst the Conqueror, that he did with Doyle. Never have heard any of the music, though.

But he seems to not have a problem singing songs live like Angelfuck, Last Caress, etc. I saw them about 4 or so years back, and it just sounded like really loud, indecipherable noise. I had been to that venue before, so maybe the sound guys screwed everything up? Not sure.

Quote
I've seen it joked that "it's called the Jerry Only era because only Jerry likes it" but I like some of it.

Haha, never heard that one. Although someone on the internet once commented that Jerry's receding hairline is so bad that his devilock starts somewhere in his 3rd vertebrae nowadays. I had to rofl at that one.

I haven't heard much of the newer stuff - just the title track from The Devil's Rain - but I like both the Danzig-era and Graves-era stuff. Graves was a really enjoyable frontman for the group. He's got a few good songs on his solo album, too.

But the stuff Danzig wrote is definitely my favorite. Like you said, the first 3 releases really did stand out from each other. And it was great to see that progress in Samhain, which is my favorite period of Danzig's career. There are a good handful of Samhain songs that just amaze me. I even had to track down the box set...mine doesn't include the comic, which is pretty juvenile and cringeworthy, but the collector in me wishes I had it nonetheless.
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Offline Ratty

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Re: So I recently listened to all The Ramones and Misfits studio albums
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 04:54:18 PM »
0
Jerry ended up finding God and even mentioned in an interview that he regretted some of the things he did during the Danzig-era days. I remember hearing about his Christian side project, Kryst the Conqueror, that he did with Doyle. Never have heard any of the music, though.

Yeah Jerry found God which is really weird all things considered. I saw a rolling stone interview from 2011 where when asked if he'd ever reunite with Danzig he said something to the effect of "If Glenn gets baptized again we could start talking" which is not very classy. I've not heard Kryst the Conqueror either but I did see that some of the song names were weirdly sexual for a Christian rock group.

But he seems to not have a problem singing songs live like Angelfuck, Last Caress, etc. I saw them about 4 or so years back, and it just sounded like really loud, indecipherable noise. I had been to that venue before, so maybe the sound guys screwed everything up? Not sure.

Saw a video with one of the guys from GWAR who said the 2016 reunion with Danzig sounded like hot garbage and "That's the Misfits I remember" from when they toured together in the Graves era. I disagree on that assessment based on the fan recordings of the reunion I've seen though, and I've seen some sweet Graves era footage so maybe that guy's talking out of his ass. For reference to the GWAR guy's comment/to make up your mind for yourself here's a bit from one of the reunion shows.

I'd still love to see them live, especially if at least Doyle was there instead of just Jerry and a bunch of fill-ins as has been the norm for years.

Haha, never heard that one. Although someone on the internet once commented that Jerry's receding hairline is so bad that his devilock starts somewhere in his 3rd vertebrae nowadays. I had to rofl at that one.

Nice XD. I've also seen the modern incarnation of the band called "The Jerry Only Misfits Wedding Experience".

I haven't heard much of the newer stuff - just the title track from The Devil's Rain - but I like both the Danzig-era and Graves-era stuff. Graves was a really enjoyable frontman for the group. He's got a few good songs on his solo album, too.

But the stuff Danzig wrote is definitely my favorite. Like you said, the first 3 releases really did stand out from each other. And it was great to see that progress in Samhain, which is my favorite period of Danzig's career. There are a good handful of Samhain songs that just amaze me. I even had to track down the box set...mine doesn't include the comic, which is pretty juvenile and cringeworthy, but the collector in me wishes I had it nonetheless.

I haven't listened to much Samhain or Graves solo stuff yet but looking forward to it. The Devil's Rain is weird, it's 2 albums smooshed together and by the end of it you just have fatigue. It's got a handful of good tracks but nothing that can touch the Danzig era. Other than that there's Project 1950 which is an alright cover album if you're into 50s rock'n roll (I am) and Jerry's live album which has an awesomely cheesy Jerry-as-a-Mummy cover art but also some embarrassing obviously added in stadium/crowd noise on the tracks themselves.
PS- Oh and Jerry's put out some EPs to, which I forgot to mention, which also is pretty much my review of them. The best thing about the most recent one is it resulted in some neat Crimson Ghost/Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elmstreet art.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 05:00:34 PM by Ratty »

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