Collection II (Caroline)
by Joshua Brown
One of the mini-snapshots gleaned from my high school experience that I especially cherish, happened in my senior year. I had made it out of Maine and plunked myself into a private school with a decent punk rock per capita population. On the bus during our way back from some field trip-type extravaganza, we killed time by singing familiar songs. One of the tunes we revisited was The Misfits‘ “Braineaters” (“brains for dinner/brains for lunch/brains for breakfast/brains for brunch”). At that moment, I knew that I’d picked the right school. For the past few years, any time I felt the need to howl at the moon (metaphorically speaking, of course), or enter the B-movie/horror comic world through music, it was always The Misfits who took me there. I especially dug my third-generation Maxell copy of their early, hard-to-find singles. Glenn Danzig’s operatic voice was able to shine through any production value, and the extra static and basement acoustics made for maximum creepitude. Later, I hunted down all these rare items and they were the pride of my collection. Since not everyone was willing to pay $50-100 per 7″, and because their release was so limited, there were CD bootlegs (not to mention countless vinyl ones) going around that included the singles and the Beware 12″.
The success of this bootleg was what most likely prompted Caroline to finally issue Collection II, a decade and a half after the original releases. Compiled are Beware tracks like “Attitude” and “Last Caress,” rare gems like “Rat Fink” and “Return of the Fly,” and some Earth A.D. and Walk Among Us songs – 20 songs in all. This is The Misfits at their rawest and most haunting. Even though Danzig is now, for all intents and purposes, Dio on stilts and steroids, no self-parody – no matter how annoying – can change the fact that he once fronted the greatest horror punk band ever.