Monday, October 30, 2017

Long Way Back from Hell

You know that sad feeling when one of your favorite bands has been around for a while and they're still making music, but it's just not what it used to be? It's kind of nice that they're still making an effort, but it also feels like an effort to listen to their new stuff and not just replay the old. That's how I've felt about Glenn Danzig for a long, long time, until...

Back in skull make-up,
where he belongs.
Skeletons! Sure it's a cover album, but who cares? It's so good I think it deserves a fifth spot in the pantheon of great Danzig albums, alongside Danzig #1-4. The songs on it are what Glenn Danzig considers his "skeletons"--songs that fans may or may not have guessed he was influenced by. He takes on The Everly Brothers, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and (of course) Elvis. Even the cover of the album is a cover--it's an homage to Bowie's Pin Ups

The production on Skeletons isn't top-notch, but on at least a couple songs I think that's what Danzig was going for and it works in his favor. Both of those are themes from 60s biker films: Satan's Sadists and Devil's Angels. I love both, but to me the Devil's Angels theme sounds like a long-lost Misfits song, so that's what we're going to hear today.

Devil's Angels is a Roger Corman-produced film starring John Cassavetes as an outlaw biker in a gang called The Skulls. Originally the theme was a surfy instrumental by Davie Allan and the Arrows. Because of the lo-fi production, the lyrics are mostly unintelligible (except for a pause-for-effect "Motherfucker!"), but so it goes with many early Misfits recordings. Glenn Danzig has said he wanted to record "Devil's Angels" since 1979 and used the same arrangement he would have back then, hence its time traveling sound. 

Last year Glenn Danzig reported he'd finished recording an album of Elvis covers, so if we're lucky, maybe we'll be hearing something from that this time next year. Until then, check out "Devil's Angels" and bask with me in the Danzig-is-good-again glow! 

The original theme from Devil's Angels. No lyrics, but lots of fun, fuzzy surf pop.

Wind-fast! Death-driven! They hunt in packs like rabid dogs! Beware... the Devil's Angels!

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