While the third official grouping of recordings from the Lodi, New Jersey Martians, the Misfits were able to push a label debut with Walk Among Us. Spanning 13 tracks over 24 minutes. The songwriting is a refined call to the B-horror movies with the likes of Ed Wood or Roger Corman where large creatures in UFO’s attack, but instead of movie sets, the Misfits occupied radio waves.
Walk Among Us is a special piece of history not just because it is the technical debut of one of the most popularized and iconic figures in punk rock, but because of its history and eventual full-release notch to the belt. The Misfits at the time had worked on two separate albums, both 12 Hits From Hell and Static Age which remains a testament to the power of storytelling and references of a now digital hell that was predicted early on. The writing on Walk Among Us reflects that growth and is both a mix of devilishly catchy with the cutting-slash of a switchblade, able to be holstered and reserved at a moment’s notice.
The line-up which consisted of a revolving door overtime was a bounce of Glenn Danzig on the lead vocals and rhythm guitar on select tracks, Doyle on the lead guitar, and backing vocals which in turn, shifts to Jerry Only on bass and backing shouts. The odd man out is Arthur Googy who was featured here on Walk Among Us, on the 3 Hits From Hell EP, the 12 Hits From Hell which released in 2001, and some of the singles and early features before the Misfits would finalize with a continuous carousel of players in the game.
As Walk Among Us begins to push open the wax museum doors, the Misfits are in a frantic rush to destroy with “20 Eyes” that is both easy to move along to and easy to be crushed under. The rapid-fire Cei-Rigotti machine gun has Walk Among Us ripping through guitar chords and percussive cracks while vocals and choruses harmonize together as much that a punk record can harmonize. Where Misfits can collect and attack together is through the onslaught of horrific lyrics that match their eyeliner and cartilage gloves.
The track “Skulls” should put the narrator on a watch-list, instead, the crowd is encouraged to join along as Danzig describes, “Demon I am and face I peel, see your skin turned inside out. Cause I’ve gotta have you on my wall, gotta have you on my wall…” which transitions into the chorus. The group describes, “I want your skull, I need your skulls, I want your skull, I need your skulls.” Then as the guitar riffs and bass grooves begin to ramp up, the lyrics get more intense, illustrating, “Collect the heads of little girls and put ‘em on my wall. Hack the heads off little girls and put ‘em on my wall.” The overarching theme of being as shocking and grotesque as possible leads the listener through a hall of horrors where the scariest thing is the reflection of the audience at the end of the record.
And when the Crimson Ghost turns to the audience and ushers out of the mosh pit, the Misfits stand as effigies to punk rock and heresy. In the end, the horror nerds create catchy tracks that reflect the blood-soaked film reels of yesteryear.