Manmade Monster (Nickle and Dime)
By Craig Regala
It starts with a pretty much Wagnerian take on Link Wray’s “Rumble” for a minute and then “WhoooEEEE!!!! everybody, it’s punktasic fun time!” By now, you know these guys started as a Misfits tribute band. Unlike the Kissfits or that band that does all Misfits tunes with lyrics about food (THE MISFATS!), Plan 9 (named after the Misfits initial rec. label, tagged in tribute to the classic film) roll out an alternative reality where the Misfits took the Ramones’ path and made records playing to their strongest rocking and ghouling suit until like, forever! Now, you, or me (or Jesus; of Nazareth*) could adopt the many hefty vital thematic American cultural concerns the Brothers-Fit have absorbed via the Misfits DNA. Death balladabilly, horror movies, way-late nite ’70s TV weirdness, The Cramps’ record collection of eye-rolling fuzz-punk from a couple decades, Kiss-fried epicosity, lurid comics, hot-rod drag stuff, plus zombies, Zombies, and ZOMBIES! But… we didn’t, and thankfully they did.
Fuck’t if I woulda believed it, but Plan 9 do it well. Tunes rolling off the back of one of the five finest U.S. punk discs ever, The Misfits’ Walk Among Us, in a chunka-punka manner, one metallized step from the ’50s disfigured roots of the ‘Fits themselves. Manmade Monster enlivens the tradition and hopefully exploits it for free drugs and graveyard blow jobs. Check the last tune, “Samhain,” to realize these fellas know where the death-abilly Goth rock thing springs from. Well-played, well-recorded, and sincerely leaping off from a rain-strewn stormy cliff to a bar near you. I’ll bet they do a helluva Halloween show. The last song played at the four day, 42-band Stoner Rock Emissions festival in ’03 was a cover of “We Bite” by Orange Goblin with the Alabama Thunderpussy boys jumping in. Amen.
Match with old Misfits, new Misfits, Fear, The Weirdos, Supersuckers, Dwarves, a ton of Killed By Death punkers, Elvis in his early eyeliner years, AFI, Metallica in cover mode, Electric Frankenstein/Kung Fu Killers and a dozen times a dozen garage, punk, and metal units who’ve trotted out Misfits tunes. My favorite being Entombed.
*Classic early ’70s hit-makers with a driven, folk/blues/hard rock sound that fried many an ass for a four record stretch. Like the Dead Boys and Fear, they were capably covered by Guns N’ Roses on their maligned but A-OK Spaghetti Incident disc. Reputedly, Jesus was only on these “good” records whilst being the deciding influence on covering Tim Rose’s “Morning Dew.” Nice work, son-o-god.