For 30 years now, the Misfitshave spread their colloidal mix of punk, rockabilly, and horror-flick themes to ravenous "Fiends" around the globe. Formed in 1977 by Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only in Lodi, New Jersey, the Misfits were punk rock's answer to the B movie. With a D.I.Y. ethos and a penchant for obscure movie references, they quickly gained a cult following with spooky-themed tunes like "Halloween" and "Die, Die My Darling." But it wasn't until after their official breakup in 1983 that the popularity of their back catalog, coupled with singer Glenn Danzig's solo projects, would transform them from horror punk outcasts to iconic rock stars. Unfortunately, most Misfits fans would never hear the band at its height: Danzig and Only spent the next 15 years mired in a nasty legal battle.
Finally, in 1997, Only won the right to use the Misfits name. He gathered an all-star lineup of former punk legends and went on a tear, releasing three albums in six years. Taking an almost comical approach to their original horror vibe, the "new look" Misfits may have lost a step in the punk department guttural wails were replaced by sing-a-long vocals; unspeakable evil usurped by images of Frankenstein and the Wolfman. But whatever they lost in punk cred they gained in a sort of light-hearted listenability. Their last album was composed of '50s covers like "Dream Lover" and "Monster Mash." It's not the expected turn for a band whose idea of a dream lover was once an undead Marilyn Monroe, but damn it all if it's not a little bit fun. Check out Only and crew when they stop by the Culture Room tonight at 7:30 p.m. (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets run $20. Get them at cultureroom.net.
Sun., Dec. 7, 2008