EARTH A.D./WOLFSBLOOD LP
Label: Plan 9 Records
1. Earth A.D.
2. Queen Wasp
4. Death Comes Ripping
5. Green Hell
The most noticeable aspects of this record are probably due to the addition of a new drummer (Robo), and an outside producer (Spot). What you get is an album with noticeably improved drumming, much faster songs, and a muddy, but eerie production that is more "hardcore" than the other MISFITS records. The resultant album is nasty, brutish, and short.
It starts off with one of the great intros, an aspect of song writing that the MISFITS had more or less neglected all through their career, normally just lurching right into the songs. However, "Earth AD" has a really creepy intro that brings to mind the artier phase of the band ("Cough/Cool" and "Theme for a Jackal"). When the song *hits*, though, you instantly notice that the band is playing about three times faster than ever before (the previous fastest song probably being "All Hell Breaks Loose"), and that the vocals are buried in the mix. The song is still catchy, but is a departure from the crooner-rock of "Last Caress" or "London Dungeon," instead relying on rhythmic intensity and pure vitriol. Most of the songs follow in this style, with the exceptions of "Bloodfeast" and "Green Hell."
So, the majority of songs actually finds the band returning (in a way) to the RAMONES *structures* of their early songs, with a dizzying incoherence of parts and rhythms that is lacking from "Walk Among Us," with its comfortable verse-chorus patterns. The effect is a shifting, pounding drive that is frankly, far more effective than the punked-up RAMONES style of the singles. "Hellhound" is a great example, with its puzzlingly UN-anthemic chorus; Glenn's impressive vocal range is seemingly neglected, but it is the *threat* of his prowress that lies behind every note.
The two exceptional songs are "Green Hell" and "Bloodfeast." The former is one of the earliest attempts at crossover by a punk band, a status testified to by the METALLICA cover. "Bloodfeast," however, is the slowest song on the record, yet it sounds nothing like previous mid-tempo MISFITS songs. It was originally to be a SAMHAIN song, and the pounding riffs and wailing chorus certainly confirm it in that style.
Glenn often has disowned this album as a botch by Jerry and Doyle for "playing too fast, too cartoony," but I think that is a reaction more to the legacy of the album than to the LP as sonic document. For it is nothing short of a masterpiece, together with the first SAMHAIN album you have the ultimate proof that, if the MISFITS were a "joke," Glenn Danzig was certainly NOT "in on it."