Having played a hand in both the legendary punk band Misfits as well as his own side Danzig, Glenn Danzig is no stranger to the hardcore punk scene. His legendary status in the punk scene has made him into a counterculture icon, inspiring many bands to mimic their style, as well as contributing to the post punk revival in the early 2000s with bands such as My Chemical Romance and even heavy metal legends Metallica citing influence.
Despite being 60-years-old, Danzig is no slouch and is still fueled by the punk angst that inspired him to take the stage in the early ‘80s. He’s released numerous albums in the past couple of years under his side project Danzig. His most recent release, “Skeletons” is a homage to the various artists that inspired him over the years, with covers of songs by famous musicians such as Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, all given the Danzig punk treatment. You would think a legendary musician covering other legendary musicians would be a recipe for success. However, it seems Danzig has outlived his time in the spotlight as this album is rather an injustice to all these songs than a homage.
It’s surprising that a man at his age still has the energy to be able to sing with as much passion as he does. It’s not energy that Danzig lacks. It’s his lack of awareness about his vocal depreciation over the years. On the cover of the 1960s horror movie theme song “Satan” (From “Satan’s Sadists”), Danzig delivers a mind numbing performance that would turn off even the most diehard fans of the Misfits as he strives to hit those falsettos, but it comes off rather embarrassing. This train wreck continues on the cover of Black Sabbath’s, “N.I.B.” where he sings, “follow me now and you will not regret, leaving the life you led before we met.” Listeners will regret ever tuning into this album as these reimaginings of the originals destroys what made those songs classics in the first place.
The production on this album is not that bad, but it’s as mediocre as it gets. Even though these are covers, you would expect there to be a little bit of his hardcore, sporadic personality injected into these songs, but they come off as monotonous and boring. There’s nothing short of the staple heavy metal power chords that have plagued the genre since its inception. Usually, bands will come up with imaginative and creative ways to utilize these progressions. However, every song on this album sounds just like the last and when listening all the way through, it’s hard to distinguish between any track aside from the varying vocal performance which goes from bad to absolutely terrible.
In this 10-track album that spans a little under 40 minutes, the only redeeming song would be the cover of the Litter’s song, “Action Woman.” The performance on this song is reminiscent of the classic hardcore punk aesthetic that the Misfits created back in the 1980s on their legendary album, “Legacy of Brutality” that kickstarted the genre that is now horror punk. Even Danzig comes through with his vocals on his song and regains some of his youth, pulling off some nice crescendos and a fair amount of energetic singing on top of a nice metal version of the original.
I’ve said that Danzig has surprised me in all the wrong ways on this album, but what’s not surprising is that with old age comes some drawbacks and a loss of some talent that just isn’t possible to regain. Danzig brings his energy, as with everything he does, but as the rest of the baby boomers decide to wind down and retire, Danzig’s time is approaching very quickly.
Rating: 1.5 stars