TV Casualty - TV Casualty [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

TV Casualty

TV Casualty [7-inch] (2011)

Matador Records

Punk rock has a vaunted history of game changing shows: The Sex Pistols at Manchester Lesser Free Trade hall. Black Flag at Polliwog Park. Fear at Saturday Night Live. So, its interesting that one of the more modern legendary shows wasn't a punk band performing its own material, but rather, an all-star cover band. On Halloween 2009, Ted Leo, Atom Goren, Brian Sokel, Andy Delusion and Chris Wilson, as TV Casualty, donned their devil locks and played an entire set of Misfits tunes (and "Mother" for good measure), which caught punkdom off guard with its reverence, dedication and near-duplication of the real thing.

Following of the success of that show, TV Casualty has released a six-song Misfits cover EP, with all proceeds going to benefit the Attic Youth Center. Of course, these tunes aren't going to replace the amazingness of the originals, but it's impressive as to how close TV Casualty comes to nailing the spirit of Glenn Danzig himself.

Although the Misfits created the "horror rock" genre, there's more to the band than simply singing about ghouls and wearing black. TV Casualty seems to understand this, and instead off dwelling on the horror aspect of the Misfits, play the package in full, giving reverence to each mention of maggots, bellowed croon, slammed bass line, and driving, but not off the hook, tempo.

Most impressively, despite recording the songs on modern equipment, the band is able to capture the murky quality of the originals, leaving sounds on the recordings that are almost there, but difficult to discern just what they are. Leo's vocals are a little more pronounced than Sir Danzig's, which lets the true poetry of the originals have a slightly fuller punch. But, also, in cleaning up the presentation of the vocals, the band somehow seems a little less sinister than the original tunes.

Really, this release is just what it seems to be. Modern punk veterans doing great versions of Misfits classics for a good cause. Who thought that singing about ripping out jugular veins could be so fun?