Danzig – “Skeletons” (AFM Records)
With over 10 million album sales worldwide and a legacy spanning the Misfits, Samhain and his own eponymous band, Glenn Danzig is a legend spanning over five decades. Always a man who trod his own path steadfastly, Danzig’s 10th studio album offers a unique insight into the man himself, and more importantly, the music that came to influence him, in a special covers only release. Right from the album cover taken from David Bowie’s “Pin Ups’ album with Danzig in full skullface makeup – along with porn star Kayden Kross – you get to hear the music that Danzig grew up to, his ‘skeletons in the closet’ that made him who he is today. Some of the influences are pretty obvious, from Elvis to Black Sabbath, and yet even in these Danzig has sought to cover the less familiar songs, from Presley’s ‘Let Yourself Go’ in the 1968 film “Speedway” to Sabb’s own N.I.B., here given the full Danzig goth evil live works from Tommy Victor’s thick n squeaky guitars to half-beat drums bolstered by ominous church bells. If you’re looking for those Misfits influences then the soundtrack for 60s outlaw biker film ‘Devil’s Angels’ nails this one and for an even more punked out possibility try The Litter’s ‘Action Woman’, here given a DIY garage take that would have Metallica drooling uncontrollably. Biggest shock for me had to be ZZ Top’s own ‘Rough Boy’, with Danzig punk crooning in his soulful voice and Tommy’s guitar wailing in the background – man, all you needed was the glitter ball ha ha! Of course, being the talent that he is, none of the lyrics have been changed despite the make overs, which in the case of Aerosmith’s ‘Lord Of The Thighs’ gets even swankier while The Everly Brothers ‘Crying in the Rain’ gets the acoustic send off with a piano, tympani and light haunting harmonies – but all still very evil live and indisputably Danzig. I guess the final gem to this unique package is that the 10 tracks were recorded intermittently between 2012 and 2015, so each song not only captures Danzig’s mood at a particular time, but also has a unique production sound, making each track somewhat special. There may have been countless imitations over the years, but only Evil Elvis could’ve pulled this off.