The Misfits – “Static Age”



"Static Age" – The Misfits (Caroline Records, 1997)

Strange things sometimes happen in the sordid world of music and its subgenres. Oddities like 2Pac and Biggie releasing album after album posthumously, or that Black Sabbath has over twenty-five records to their credit (bet you didn’t know that), or even the phenomenon known as Ashlee Simpson. Yes, music is riddled with oddities and strange occurrences. And The Misfits, godfathers of horror rock, are not remiss of their own peculiarities. In this instance, Static Age – The Misfits’s debut album, recorded in 1978, had its first release nearly twenty years later – almost fifteen years after the original group disbanded.

The myth behind the elusive Static Age LP is that the band had recorded it in a high-end studio after selling the name "Black Records" (under which The Misfits released their equally elusive first release, Cough/Cool), not for money but for studio time. With an authentic production team, professional equipment, and actual sound mixing the band has never sounded better. The guitars are crisp, the vocals are rich, and the sound has an over-all smooth feel to it. And then there are the songs – Static Age is classic Misfits. However, the problem was that record labels weren’t quite ready for classic Misfits. By the time the band was ready to press up wax on their own, under the Plan 9 label, they felt the Static Age material wasn’t representative of where they were by the end of 1978. They released a few tracks as part of the Bullet 7", and moved on with the full album shelved.

Most monster kids who walk around in Misfits shirts and have their copies of Walk Among Us memorized by-heart often omit the golden age of the band. And while I love "Astro Zombies", and nearly pissed myself hearing Danzig and Doyle rip through it at their New York date, the Static Age material remains the best of The Misfits. While the style of the band developed and evolved with each release, Static Age is the most classically punk rock, 1950’s style meets The Ramones. The record plays like a greatest hits album, with the band at its best when adopting an Elvis-like rock and roll vibe with "Some Kinda Hate", "Angelfuck", and "Hybrid Moments". The record also presents the first appearance of live staples like "Last Caress", "Bullet", "Attitude", "We are 138", and the original ‘WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK’ version of "Teenagers from Mars". This release also presents the original versions of "She", "Spinal Remains", and a fucking-gem called "In the Doorway" – which is heard for the first time ever, on this disc, since its recording back in 1978.

If you’ve never heard The Misfits, this is where to start. Simply put, one of the greatest punk records of all time and what serves as the genesis of the horror rock genre. (Available at www.amazon.com). – Adam Raines

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