Danzig - Skeletons (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Skeletons (2015)


Danzig has been promising an album of covers for years now and, in addition, he has teased us with little tastes of cover songs over the past decade (including a fantastic cover of David Bowie's "Cat People" featured on 2007's Lost Tracks of Danzig) . Now we finally have the opportunity to listen to the full completed album, titled Skeletons (referring to these songs being the "skeleton" of Danzig's influences, as well as the "skeletons in his closet").

The album is a mix of obvious influences (Elvis, Black Sabbath) and perhaps not so obvious influences (ZZ Top, Aerosmith) and it is mostly successful. Before I get started describing the tracks themselves, I would like to say that, like on 2010's excellent Deth Red Sabaoth, Danzig's vocals are in top "Evil Elvis" form here. The opening track "Devil's Angels" is a loose cover of a the theme song for the 1960's independent biker film of the same name. The reason I use the term "loose" is because, to the best of my knowledge, the original version of this song has no lyrics and is conducted on a synthesizer; thus, in a way, this almost seems like a Danzig original. The song itself is fantastic- it has a very "Misfits" vibe to it, from a lyrical, sonic and production stand point; do be perfectly honest, it wouldn't have sounded out of place of Static Age.  

Other stand-out tracks are the stomping cover of Elvis Presley's lesser-known song "Let Yourself Go", a very Misfits-y cover of The Trogg's "A Girl Like You" (the raw and dirty production, combined with the loose and wild performance really works great), a chugging version of The Litter's "Action Woman", and a darker and more depressing version of The Everly Brother's "Crying in the Rain". I've heard many other reviewers complaining about the production quality of this release, but I think it works well given the material. In fact, I don't think songs like "Devil's Angels" or "A Girl Like You" would work with glossier production. Negatives? There are some. The Aerosmith ("Lord of the Thighs") and ZZ Top ("Rough Boy") covers are not as successful as the remainder of the album (although both are still perfectly listenable) and, at a mere 10 songs, I was hoping for a much longer album (15-20 songs) given the length of time Danzig had been promising this album.

I would have personally loved to have heard Glenn's renditions of other punk contemporaries of the Misfits days (the Necros? maybe Black Flag?) or perhaps Danzig-ized versions of a Doors or perhaps a Screamin' Jay Hawkins track. Beggars can't be choosers, however, so I am happy we even got this album at all. If you are a Danzig fan, like myself, I suggest you pick this up immediately.

One interesting final note- a cover of Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning" featuring Cherie Currie on backing vocals was recorded and released online in 2013 but is not featured on this cover album due to the rights holders ultimately not approving of the rendition (my personal opinion is that Danzig did an excellent job).