DEA.D. Alive!
(Misfits Records)

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The Fiends are rising from the grave again as the Misfits have released their third live album, DEA.D. Alive!. Now let’s get a couple of things out of the way to start. Yes, bassist Jerry Only is still the singer. At this point, he’s been the frontman, keeping the band going all these years and I doubt he will ever relinquish his position to accommodate another singer, even Danzig. No, there are no classic Danzig-era songs on this release. Only is probably not allowed to use them on recordings, so it’s mostly tracks from their latest studio album, Devil’s Rain, with a small taste of American Psycho, Famous Monsters and a decent enough, but not very memorable cover of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Science Fiction/Double Feature.” Even if those classic Danzig-era songs were on this album, would you want to hear them from this lineup anyway? And finally, the Misfits—and punk rock in general—is more about energy than technical proficiency.

All that being covered, DEA.D. Alive! captures portions of two Halloween season shows by the legendary punk band. The overall sound quality isn’t great with Only’s bass (that features no volume knobs so it’s full-blast all the time) blares over everything at times. Drummer, Eric “Chupacabra” Arce occasionally goes into warp speed that Only and guitarist Dez Cadena can’t keep up with, creating a jumbled mess, but they recover quickly. All in all, I was surprised at how well Only handles his vocal duties despite his limited range. I know many consider this lineup to be a travesty, but a Misfits show is still good fun and the world will be a little less bearable when the Misfits are no more for good. If you still dig what Only is doing with the Misfits these days you should definitely enjoy this release.

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