By: Sean Romano
Anyone who knows my taste in music at all knows that in general i really tend to hate 80’s punk rock, especially of the California/New York hardcore variety. My main issue with hardcore is that it’s hookless, deliberately uncommercial music, which to most critics and punks are good qualities, but to me it just adds up to a bunch of bands producing pieces of minute long aggression, which are made a chore to get through due to it’s utter disregard of pop hooks and memorable lines, and robbed of even any catharsis value due to poor production and intentionally bad mixes.
Yeah basically I’m biased.
But oddly enough i never had any issues with The Misfits brand of hardcore, maybe cause they were one of the few bands in the genre to realize that maybe punk rock should be fun and not an elitist social club of PEOPLE debating about politics they know nothing about and whether something is “real punk” or not. So instead of the usual self righteous political tirade, The Misfits created “Walk Among Us” a deliberately trashy and disposable punk rock masterpiece with enough buzz-saw guitars, rockabilly melodies, b grade horror movie schlock, and juvenile humor to please any Ed Wood Jr. aficionado.
Walk Among Us retains the best aspects of punk while outright disregarding it’s flaws. The band is relentless, with enough trashy and aggressive riffs to please any punker, but given just enough professional punch production wise so that same aggression isn’t buried in a poor mix. Even better is the now infamous Danzig, whose tuneful and melodic voice makes the songs catchy as well as mosh-able, giving songs as gory as “Skulls” or “Astro-Zombies” a remarkably earnest and emotional quality.
Basically it sounds like what all punk should be; simultaneously cathartic angst delivered at hyper speed, and absurdly, catchy fun.
By the way it probably influenced more bands since the Ramones debut since it not only influenced truckloads of future punk and thrash metal bands, it also created a thriving underground horror punk scene that fostered the likes of .45 Grave and Christian Death. It’s shadow extends all the way to the 2000’s where it’s fusion of earnest, poppy melodies and hardcore punks “piss and vinegar” attitude would be massively influential on post-hardcore and emo bands such as AFI, My Chemical Romance and Atreyu. Making this not only a classic punk album, but maybe a classic album for rock and roll as a whole.