“I turned into a martian!” whinnied bass playing Misfits monolith Jerry Only before the band’s song of the same name. There’s their aesthetic right there in five words, a kind of ludicrous but fun-packed grand guignol car crash of old EC Comics horror, early NYC punk and an absolute refusal to take themselves too seriously.
The Misfits - ABC, Glasgow
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The New Jersey trio are a band who have gathered plenty of critical goodwill in their chequered 35-year life-span, perhaps to a large extent because they’ve never blown it by trying to be straight-faced.
They looked like models for the latest in orc horde fashion. Only wore a mightily-shoulder-padded leather waistcoat and a sculpted widow’s peak which threaded all the way from his forehead to the depths of his scalp: latterly the waistcoat came off and he was right down to a bare 1970s wrestler’s physique. Guitarist Dez Cadena’s long black hair flowed down over a cowboy’s black leather trenchcoat, and drummer Eric Arce sat on a riser modelled on some form of Stygian bridge. Their famed original singed Glenn Danzig may have long since moved on, but it’ll be forever ‘77 for these guys.
The show was a noisy tribute to the style of their youth and an unthreatening retread of their near four decades of horror punk sound. From the gnarled bassline of Death Ray to the mock fury of Skulls and the hard to resist garage-rock of We Are 138, they played nearly 40 songs in 90 minutes and never bored.