by Daniel Th1rte3n
It's about this time every year that I wax nostalgic about my first Misfits show, way back in the distant past of the summer of 1997. The American Psycho album had just come out, and the Misfits took to the road to promote the material and their new line-up (consisting of new vocalist Michale Graves and drummer Dr. Chud along with Jerry Only and his brother Doyle). The resulting shows proved that Graves was more than a worthy replacement for the legendary Glenn Danzig. American Psycho and its follow up Famous Monsters went on to become beloved classics of the genre embraced by legions of horror punk fans worldwide.
But, as is so often the way, some things are never meant to be forever. In 2000, Graves left the band and began a solo career that took him away from the horror punk sound (but not some of the dark themes contained therein) that made him famous, as he grew and matured as an artist. Over the course multiple releases, Michale defined a new sound and approach that was as iconic as his work with the Misfits, albeit in a more socially conscious vein (with the exception of some tracks from 2005’s horror flavored release Punk Rock is Dead)
With this week’s release of Michale’s latest album, The Lost Skeleton Returns, Graves has returned to the genre that started his career with a vengeance. Each of the albums 16 tracks (10 rerecorded tracks that span his career as a horror punk artist, and 6 new tracks in the same style), crackle with the kind of energy that informs the listener that Michale is having a blast revisiting his roots while at the same time applying all that he has learned in the intervening years. For example, compare any of the new versions against their original counterparts; while the originals had a vibrancy and power, the new recordings refine those qualities while adding subtle nuances of voice that make them sound surer and mature. That being said, I do not prefer one version over another, rather I believe that comparing and contrasting the work makes me appreciate it even more.
As for the new material, it is excellent and would be right at home in any Misfits fan’s iPod. Songs such as Last Man on Earth, Something Wicked and Lost Skeleton will make worthy additions to Michale’s considerable live repertoire (a tour in support of the album has been announced with dates forthcoming).
I strongly urge any horror punk fan to pick this up immediately, and celebrate a long summer of rock n’ roll nightmares! To purchase the album, please head here: http://hydraulic-entertainment.com/shophyrdraulic/and to keep up on all Michale Graves related happening be sure to follow him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Michale.Graves?fref=ts) and Twitter (@MichaleGraves)