Oh, like it was going to be anyone else? I don’t give a flying foxfuck that Jerry Only has prostituted, mass marketed and slapped his band’s logo over almost as much merchandise as KISS – the Misfits are legendary for a reason, the reason being they were Fucking Amazing.
Unlike every Camden emo-kid sporting a Misfits t-shirt, I can actually boast that I’ve seen the legendary ghouls play live – albeit by accident. Rewind to June 1999: I was just one of a small gang of teenage metalheads hanging around Reading (yes, as in: Reading Festival), going to any and every gig going. As a commuter satellite of London, Reading didn’t always get gigs, so anything even slightly rock or metal taking place, and we’d go along. Our lives revolved around a venue on Gun Street known as the Alleycat (which would later be re-branded as The Fez Club as part of the Po Na Na Empire, before being re-furbed into the ghastly Sakura). It was a warm Wednesday night in Summer – school had just broken up, and we saw a large queue of skull costumed punks had built up outside the venue. We investigated.
Even as stupid teenagers, we’d heard of the Misfits. They’d just put out Famous Monsters, and had been getting a few column inches in Metal Hammer as a result – Cradle of Filth frontman and then-columnist of the Hammer, Dani Filth, had reviewed it and given it 13 out of 10. We were the only people there without full Misfits make-up, and we only knew about two songs. My abiding memory of the gig is my mate, “Peter Hillbilly”, jokingly slamming me in the mosh pit so I flew into the back of the largest, most obese human I have ever seen. The man made Rik Waller look anorexic, and clad only in a pair of black lycra cycling shorts, with his baby-like skin slick and greasy with sweat. I somehow slid straight up him, and ended up crowdsurfing right into Jerry Only’s ridiculous shoes.
Which is why I’ve gone for a song featuring Michale Graves as frontman, rather than with The Misfits iconic frontman, Glenn Danzig. Because Graves was my Misfits frontman. Standing on the barrier at the Alleycat, shaking his head from side to side like a dog with rabies, he’s my abiding memory of that Misfits gig.
And I didn’t pick ‘Scream’ because it’s too fucking obvious.
They just don’t make enough videos like this anymore – it’s like a punk rock ‘Thriller’ (we prefer the one we’ve linked to the Jacko original…). There’s a nod to John Carpenter in the intro music, gore that would do George Romero proud, and a killer track that sounds like the soundtrack to that houseparty you went to as a teenager that ended up when the police turfed everyone out at 5am after someone set fire to the bedroom and crashed the bath through the floor. In short: perfect.
Send More Paramedics were a Leeds-based zombiecore (yes, really) that couldn’t fit my Halloween theme week any better if they tried. I saw them whip up the punk tent at Leeds 2006 into a feeding frenzy of circle-pit moshing. Approximately a year later they split, leaving behind them three cracking albums – A Feast for the Fallen, The Hallowed and The Heathen and The Awakening.
They loaded their songs with references to classic zombie flicks – hell, The Awakening is a straight-up concept album, a soundtrack to a zombie film that doesn’t exist. For six years the band stuck to their schtick, and made their gimmick work for them rather than becoming a slave to it.
Members of the band have re-surfaced in the bands The Dead Eyes of Quint (think Down if they’d grown up in Huddersfield), and Humanity’s Gone (more traditional UKHC than Send More Paramedics, but still crushingly destructive) so their legacy still endures.