A tribute to Misfits tributes | Bleader

A tribute to Misfits tributes


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One of the only things that gets me through the November-December period of being assaulted from all sides by Christmas music—not only suffocatingly musty carols but those horrible holiday-themed songs that turn rock and pop music into twisted, wholesomely jolly parodies of themselves*—is the somewhat recent tradition of punks and former punks turning the entire month of October into a giant Misfits playlist. For some reason I can never get sick of hearing Misfits songs, and actually the more I binge on them the more I want to remove everything but the Misfits from my personal rotation, a fact that fascinates me and has brought me close to the brink of getting a tattoo of their logo on several separate occasions.

(Below the jump eight bands that aren't the Misfits offer their own takes on the song.)

I'm far from the only person who feels this way about the band, and for a couple of generations of underground rock bands covering Misfits songs has been somewhat analogous to what covering "House of the Rising Sun" or "Mannish Boy" was to rockers in the 60s. While it's obvious to any right-thinking person that "Hybrid Moments" is the best song the Misfits ever wrote, "Where Eagles Dare" is the best song for bands to cover, since it was almost perfectly designed to lose your shit to.

Superchunk covering "Eagles" directly after a rendition of Black Flag's "Gimme Gimme Gimme" with Keith Morris on vocals. (The Misfits cover starts at 2:00.) Today they posted a studio version of the cover on their website as a free download.

Titus Andronicus in early 2008. Screaming your ass off from on top of a table while your band blasts through an extremely raggedy-ass version of the song to a largely empty sports bar is an absolutely classic way to do "Where Eagles Dare."

Dave Pajo's version, taken from his Misfits tribute album Scream With Me, goes in the opposite direction, hushing things down and letting you just bask in all of those hooks the song throws at you.

Ted Leo's most brilliant "Eagles" innovation is getting a dude in a really bootleg-looking Aquaman costume to sing the lead, adding more than a little visual poetry to the proceedings.

Voodoo Terror Tribe is a really terrible name for a band, but their version of "Eagles" underlines the Misfits' massive influence on metalheads.

Of Montreal plays up the song's triumphant aspect, the part of it that makes "I ain't no goddamn son of a bitch" seem like it should go on an inspirational poster.

For some reason in the 90s people wanted lounge and/or swing versions of every song known to man. Hence the Nutley Brass' own album-length tribute.

For probably the exact same reason people these days feel the same way about popular songs rendered in the style of 8-bit video game soundtracks.