Misfits - Coffin Box
Caroline Records
Horror Punk

Release year: 1996
Caroline Records
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Before Metallica butchered this band with their awful redneck version of Die, Die, My Darling, (and to a lesser extent, Last Caress and Green Hell but that was a completely different band, they had credibility back then) and before Hot Topic raped the legacy of Danzig, Jerry Only and company into a marketable tool for every wiener fourteen year old skater, the Misfits were a great band, no, they were more than that, they were legendary. Their brand of raw, gritty, B-grade horror movie punk that sounded like it was recorded in a garage somewhere is still some of the most captivating music I have heard. Glenn Danzig’s Elvis meets Jim Morrison drawl sucks you in with its magnetism. You would think that with such a basic and simple structure to all of their songs that you would get bored with them in about three seconds. I mean really, there’s no time changes, no solos, no soaring high notes, no guttural grunts, yet almost every song on this mammoth near one hundred song boxset still gives me that metal energy, that excitement that you get when you know you’re listening to truly wonderful music.

Technically, the Misfits have only released three full length cds with Danzig as their frontman, Static Age, Walk Among Us, and Earth A.D.. Despite this, there are literally dozens of songs from the Danzig era floating around, whether they are on collections, seven inch records, or a million singles. Since their unfortunate rise to popularity several years ago, there has been several collections of these songs, some shoddy, some well done. Me personally, I feel that this boxset is all you need, and maybe Walk Among Us, because these four discs contain everything from the very first recordings, two albums, a live cd, and even a two disc best of, so there is a lot of ground covered with this. The first disc is a simple compendium of the Collection cd’s, basically twenty five of the band’s hits. The classics keep coming one after another here, She, Horror Business, Night of the Living Dead, I Turned Into a Martian, Astro Zombies, Halloween, they just keep rolling off the tracklist. Favorites for this reviewer include the campy Where Eagles Dare, the fun I Turned Into a Martian and the brooding and sinister Skulls. The few duds here include the pointless Halloween II which is just a meandering Latin chant and Braineaters, where you can enjoy the humor once or twice before it just gets annoying.

Disc two is another cobbled together collection of previously released discs, Legacy of Brutality which concentrates on the seventies era of the group, the live disc Evilive, and the remaining songs off Earth A.D.. The early recordings sound very youthful and almost innocent, you can tell these are a bunch of kids especially on tracks like Some Kind of Hate and Hybrid Moments, although on the latter, even though the youthfulness is blatantly obvious, this is in my opinion one song that captures everything that one can say to describe the Misfits. Brooding, almost a bit popish, yearning, with a great vocal deliver by Danzig, I almost had a heart attack when I saw them and they played this live. Speaking of them live, Evilive is one big auditory mess of random noise. It sounds like it was recorded in someone’s jacket pocket at the show. There’s no nice way to say it but this live recording sucks and I skip it every single time. As we come to the end of the second disc with the tracks off Earth A.D. we are greeted with another different side of the band. Gone are the campy and fun times, instead what we have is bitter, angry and violent speed metal that despite the terrible production, this shows the Misfits becoming a metal band. Sad to say, this was their swansong, at least it was a respectable one.

Disc three is the collectors meat, this has some real rarities included. A cd chock full of studio outtakes, many of them unknown, this contains the band’s earliest recordings of Cough, Cool and She, recorded with Danzig playing his piano through a fuzz box while singing over them. Although every song on this particular segment of the box is not hard to find, these are the only versions of them out there. Take for instance, Where Eagles Dare, there are three versions on this disc alone yet each are vastly different from the other. One’s on steroids, the other on speed, and the other one sounds like the normal version albeit with a bit different vocals from Danzig. The last and final disc is the rest of the songs from the Static Age sessions and these include three of their calling cards, Last Caress, We Are 138, and Bullet.

After Glenn left, the Misfits still made music with a new singer. While many purists eschew the new Misfits I gave them a shot and I really enjoyed their comeback album American Psycho. It’s too bad everything after that was limp though. As a memorial to the legacy of one of America’s great (former) underground legends, this boxset does a fine job in capturing the spirit and the magic that was the Misfits.

Killing Songs :
Astro Zombies, Horror Business, We Are 138, She, Where Eagles Dare
Ben quoted no quote
Other albums by Misfits that we have reviewed:
Misfits - Walk Among Us reviewed by Koeppe and quoted CLASSIC
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