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Nuclear Blast USA
Release Date: November 27, 2015
Skeletons is a covers album. I’m opening with that because it should lower your expectations of what this record should be. Instead of showing us where Danzig is going, Skeletons provides a musical tour of where he came from. The album was recorded between 2012 and 2015 and includes covers of artists ranging from ZZ Top to The Troggs to the Everly Brothers as well as less surprising choices like those of Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, and Elvis Presley.
Glenn Danzig has been a force to be reckoned with throughout his tenures with The Misfits, Samhain, and his eponymous band. This album is not really a force to be reckoned with on any level, but if you love his early punk works then it’s a fun ride. Basically, everything sounds very lo-fi here but it’s got the same punk swagger as his pre-Danzig works, which is a side of him we haven’t seen in a good long while on a recording.
The highlights here will probably depend on which of his influences you enjoy the most. I love the cover of Aerosmith’s “Lord of the Thighs” the most. It has a very seventies feel because it sounds like it was recorded in a garage. Danzig’s vocals are pretty loud in the mix and he’s often off-key, but it’s just got some raw power to it that forces you to dig it. The theme song from “Devil’s Angels” (a biker movie from the sixties) is another favorite. Danzig sounds great here and the mix is a lot better than some of the other songs. It’s punky goodness is topped off with an excellent guitar riff that makes you want to listen to the song over and over again. The Rascals’ “Find Somebody” is transformed into a groovin’ hard rock tune and the band totally locks it all in, making it another highlight for me.
Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that there are some real stinkers here as well. A lot of it has to do with the terrible production but, for me, the unfiltered sound of it all is a lot of the charm. I think this album will certainly cause a rift amongst Danzig fans because it has nothing in common (at least on a surface level) with anything he’s done in recent years.
Reviewed by Mark1340