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The Jersey-bred musclemen/metal punks emerged in 1977, developed a crude catalog of ’50s B-movie themes banged out and recorded with even less tact, and, technically, disbanded by 1983 (when head howler Glenn Danzig left the group). But since 1996, a Frankenstein-ian composite of aging shredders and hangers-on have been keeping the monster alive. Founded by the incomparable Danzig and Jerry Only, Marky Ramone and Black Flag’s Dez Cadena were once part of the deciduous line-up.
Throughout the years, reissues, and coffin-shaped box sets, the (theoretical) band has gained a cult following its current members refer to as the Fiend Club, bearing the Misfits’ signature logo and genius graphic design feat. the fiend skull. Their songs have been covered by Metallica (“Last Caress”) and Guns ‘n’ Roses (“Attitude”). Now, Jerry Only is the last founding fossil standing and most new material, quite frankly, sucks. (Exception: 2003’s Project 1950 for its kick-ass cover of “Great Balls of Fire.”)
The Misfits haven’t released an album since 2004’s Fiend Club Lounge, so who the hell knows what to expect on Oct. 25. I’m not even sure what to expect from the line-up. Rudimentary research indicates Only and Cadena are in, backed by Robo on drums, and Danzig is still out. Such shaky circumstances make me think I should sit this show out too, but I’d probably pay to see a Misfits cover band anyway, and by now that’s just about what the Misfits are—an amoebic group toiling in the shadow of their former, better catalog.