MISFITS - Static Age LP
Recorded thanks to some studio time received in exchange for giving up an early label name claimed by another company, though unreleased in its original form until its appearance on Box Set, Static Age shows that early on the Misfits' particular vision was strong enough to last over a full-vinyl set. 'Full' being relative, admittedly; like the band's other few full-length efforts, Static Age barely cracks the half-hour mark, packing in 14 songs (plus a brief crackle of, naturally, static at the start and finish). Everyone in the band as they stood at the time just smokes; the recording quality is raw and strong, and those qualities which helped the Misfits stand out from the pack, especially Danzig's amazing singing and Franche Coma's fierce guitar takes on the singer's melodies, are on fine display. There's a fair amount of clangor and mess, to be sure, but it all sounds perfectly intentional, capturing a blend of punk mess, horror theatrics, and wicked humor that was theirs alone. Classics abound: 'TV Casualty,' with its blatant I Love Lucy end sample, the ridiculously entertaining sex fantasy 'Teenagers From Mars,' the perfectly pissed off 'Attitude,' and the crashed thrashers 'We Are 138' and 'Return of the Fly.' Then there's the brilliant 'Last Caress,' cartoon criminal punk idiocy turned into singalong madness later made famous by Misfits fanatics Metallica. Given how many tracks slipped out here and there over time on the various overlapping compilations, hardcore fans will find this a bit redundant in the end, but newcomers to the group will find this essential. Discographical matters got even more confused in later years when Static Age was issued as a stand-alone effort with three more songs appended from the sessions, including 'Spinal Remains' and a re-recording of 'She.'