“Famous Monsters” by The Misfits: Punk rock comes back to life for Halloween season

The Misfits is easily the best punk rock band there has ever been. The band has a central genre which surrounds the themes of horror and science fiction and is perfect to end the Halloween season.

“Famous Monsters” was the first album to have lead vocalist Michael Graves replace pianist Glenn Danzig for the vocals. This album starts with “Kong at the Gates” an instrumental to set the tone for the album. The opening flows into the first song, “Forbidden Zone,” and works well as an opening combination to kick off the album.

This leads to “Lost in Space” changing into an energetic song with quick pacing and fun to sing lyrics. The Misfits allude to Halloween in their song “Dust to Dust.” It has a catchy chorus, and heavily references the 1935 Bride of Frankenstein film.

Following that track is “Crawling Eye,” another song influenced by a cheesy horror film from 1958. To continue their horror film trend is “Scream!,” a song that surprisingly has nothing to do with the movie, Scream. The music video accompanying the song is the only music video directed by George A. Romero, a horror icon who made numerous zombie films.

My favorite song of this era of Misfits is called “Saturday Night.” Being that it is one of the few Misfits ballads, I believe it is one of Grave’s best vocal performances, and the band plays brilliantly to add to the magic. The song is open to interpretation with some vague lines and an ambiguous story while it pulls heart strings in a classic, heartfelt style.

“Pumpkin Head” is a quick-paced song, and it is named after a movie and musically explains the plot. “Living Hell” is a catchy overlooked Misfits song that is based on an 80s cannibal movie.

The Misfits went as far to name one of the songs on their album after the nickname they had given their fan base, the Fiend Club. The song is loved among the other popular ones from this album like “Descending Angel” and “Helena.” These are punk rock classics with killer lyrics and music.

Other songs on the album are based off old horror films such as Night of the Living Dead and Dark Night of the Scarecrow. Whether it is about cannibalism or a Howard Phillips Lovecraft story, “Famous Monsters” is an album dedicated to the fearful theme.

For those who have never heard the album, I recommend “Saturday Night” as my top pick. If you want that classic Graves era sound and a Misfits song that maybe you have not heard before, check out “Lost in Space” and “Living Hell.” “Famous Monsters” has something for everyone with a love of horror.