"Fiend Club Lounge"

(Misfits Records)

01. Last Caress
02. Astro Zombies
03. Where Eagles Dare
04. Some Kinda Hate
05. Hybrid Moments
06. Hatebreeders
07. Teenagers From Mars
08. Attitude
09. Angelfuck
10. Skulls
11. Die Die My Darling

RATING: 6/10

Live albums? Greatest-hits packages? Re-recorded "latest and greatest" cash grabs? Pffft. These are the tricks of rank amateurs. It takes a true metal marketing genius, one as cunning as he is shameless, one with absolutely no sense of "too much," to release an album of easy-listening Muzak renditions of his band's back catalog.

Jerry Only, meet THE NUTLEY BRASS. NUTLEY BRASS, Jerry Only.

Mastermind Sam Elwitt has released schmaltzed-out versions of punk rock classics before (see his Joey Ramone-sanctioned album of RAMONES classics, among others), mostly in the mid-1990s when that whole "space age bachelor pad" craze was in full swing, and hipsters fell over each other at flea markets to buy MARTIN DENNY albums to play on their new reproduction hi-fi turntable while drinking poorly-mixed martinis. Though this seems to be an idea about six years past its sell-by date, there's no wrong time to put out MISFITS product.

And you know what? Elwitt is really, really good at this shit. Think about it (baby) for a minute — he's taking songs that are chiefly known for their vocal patterns, and reproducing them in a vocal-less medium. His instrumentation includes some of those "exotic, space age" touches (vibes, sitar, and lots of string shlock). His arrangements are sly, clever, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny (wait till you hear the lobotomized Lawrence Welk-style singers chime in with ooh's and aah's on "Teenagers From Mars"). And it's authentic as hell — this is dentist-office music at its best/worst, the kind of easy-listening elevator pop that my grand-dad used to listen to on the sun porch via AM radio in his decrepitude.

It's fun, it's funny, it's 23 minutes long, and unless you have a lot of ironic parties, it'll probably have about two hours of shelf life in your stereo. But there's no denying that it's a hoot.

Now someone introduce this guy to Gene Simmons!


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