The Misfits - Static Age (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Misfits

Static Age (1997)


Static Age was recorded in 1978.

It wasn’t released in full until February 27, 1996 as part of a box set.

It wasn’t released as a standalone album until July 15, 1997.

Recorded over thirty hours, Static Age was intended to be the Misfits’ debut. The recording time was the result of giving up their Blank Records trademark to Mercury Records. The album was subsequently shelved. No one wanted it. Yet most of the songs recorded during that session were released on various singles, EPs, and compilations over the eighteen-year gap. And most of them are classics.

But for some of us, Stage Age was first heard as a life-changing, standalone record. While I was still young when it was released, the album was my first experience listening to the Misfits. By this point, their mythology was widely known especially for the band turmoil and their familiar logo. But you’d never know that listening to Static Age. You’d never know Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only were the sole remaining members after that recording. And for a young kid picking up Static Age in the late nineties, it was a immediate fit: technically a first album made by a group of punk kids barely older than myself (at the time of recording.) The songs were straightforward, short and aggressive, not yet fully committed to the horror punk uniform. By the time I got into punk rock, Green Day and The Offspring had already exploded, but the Misfits offered something else. They were outcasts, yes, but the music was more rebellious, more violent, if you will. The Misfits reveled in their obscurity and that was attractive.

So many of the songs on Static Age are genre staples. Danzig’s gift for melody transcends the often-juvenile lyrics. But that clashing combination works. “Hybrid Moments” and “Last Caress” are perfect pieces of punk music. “We Are 138,” “Angelfuck” and “Attitude,” while not having aged flawlessly, are giant sing-alongs. And it’s not because the lyrics are necessarily relatable. Assassinated presidents and B horror movie sex fantasies hardly guarantee long-term success. But songs like “Static Age,” and “TV Casualty” resonate to this day, if not taking on slightly new meaning.

While the shelving was unfortunate, Static Age has had its cake and eaten it too. By the time of its release, it was a greatest hits package for older fans and the perfect gateway for new ones. Ultimately, Walk Among Us is a better record but Static Age is the origin story: a bunch of punk kids given a small opportunity, unwilling to miss it. And what they pulled off is nothing short of miraculous. Because here we are, forty years after the recording of Static Age still getting excited every time Danzig and Jerry Only play together. That wouldn’t be the case if it weren’t for Static Age