The Misfits - Walk Among Us (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Misfits

Walk Among Us (1982)


In trying to put out their first LP, the Misfits had a few false starts. First with their album Static Age, recorded in 1978 but never seeing the light of day in its entirety until 1996. Then was the aborted 1980 recording sessions that would later be re-constructed as 12 Hits from Hell- the material of which was cannibalized into a series of Eps and singles- and the rest of the tracks were carried over to Walk Among Us. Thus, while Walk Among Us isn’t the first full length that The Misfits recorded, it was the first one to be completed and released in its entirety.

It also marked the first release from The Misfits to exclusively feature Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, younger brother of bassist Jerry Only, on guitar, as the previous EP 3 Hits from Hell featured one song with guitarist Bobby Steele, and the other two with Doyle. Most accounts don’t recount any particular issues with Steele, simply that Jerry wanted an opportunity to put his brother in the band.

In listening to Static Age versus Walk Among Us, you can hear a more aggressive guitar style, whether that was a difference between Doyle and Static Age guitarist Franché Coma, of just an overall change in stylistic direction, we may never know. Where Static Age has a dark, Ramones-core feel to it, Walk Among Us is faster and more aggressive, bordering on hardcore, but always with the beautiful melodies of Danzig’s if-Elvis-crawled-up-from-Hell singing voice.

The opening track “20 Eyes” envisions a hideous monster, but I’ve always taken it to be a metaphor for the sensory overload and overactive mind that comes with mental illnesses like anxiety disorder, OCD, and ADHD (which I don’t think there was a name for yet). Bizarrely, this album contains 12 studio tracks and one live one, perhaps feeling that they couldn’t replicate the live power and energy of “Mommy Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight” in the studio. An especially morbid and violent song, this track remains a haunting classic in the Misfits catalogue.

One of the album's strongest tracks will always be “Devil’s Whorehouse,” firstly for the amazing title, secondly for the killer hook, and finally for the way the drummer obnoxiously bangs his sticks together throughout the song. The closing track, “Braineaters” is an odd departure, in that it adopts an Oi/pub singalong style.

For their first album (depending how you look at it) The Misfits churn out a hard rock, gothic camp masterpiece that continues to hold up today. Unfortunately The Misfits only put out a few LPs in the Danzig era, but they were three for three with the LPs they did produce, and Walk Among Us is an absolute banger.