The Misfits, ‘Dead Alive!’ – Album Review
Whatever their lineup at any given time, the Misfits can be counted on for one thing: putting on a show. They’re modern-day medicine men, taking their wares and horror cabaret from town to town and daring audiences to call any of it snake oil.
Fortunately, there’s never any need to do so. The Misfits have always been the real deal, and that’s never been more evident than on their third live album, ‘Dead Alive!’ which presents their classics in their most natural setting: the stage.
Listening to this collection, you have to wonder where their energy comes from, and where one might be able to buy a bottle of whatever they’re drinking. For a band that’s technically been around since 1977, this is a crew that manages to smoke bands half their age in pure enthusiasm. With Jerry Only on vocals and bass, Dez Cedena on guitar and Eric “Chupacabra” Arce on drums, the group inhabits the world of “horror punk” as only the Misfits can. Whether playing their own songs or covering others — such as ‘Science Fiction/Double Feature’ from ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ which fits the Misfits so perfectly it almost seems as if the movie covered the band instead of the other way around — the trio is in fine form.
Despite the fact that some of their songs are getting on in years, the Misfits exhibit an evergreen quality. They’re rediscovered with every generation of new punks, and considering the audience fervor on this live album — the crowd gives the band a run for its money in terms of sheer lung power — it seems they’re not going away anytime soon.
In terms of the sound quality, the vocals are clear, and while the guitars and other instruments could stand to come through more brightly, this is a live album, so it’s not really an impediment. The record serves as a document, capturing the band’s live energy, and it succeeds on that front.
Fittingly, these recordings come from 2012 Halloween shows the band played in New York City and their home state of New Jersey, and it’s obvious that the boys’ favorite holiday enlivens them. If every day is, indeed, Halloween for the Misfits, they’re doing something right.