Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Feb 19th, 2016

Danzig: Skeletons

(Nuclear Blast America)

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There are two ways, maybe more, that Danzig’s collection of covers can be interpreted. One is a muddy, murky, basement production with songs featuring clunky instruments and better quality vocals, for the most part, than the instruments behind him, sounding somewhat submerged or recorded somewhere else. Or, a tribute to the vintage sounds of his early years mirroring a production that was, at the time, the best that could be done, like one of the Big 4 recording an album with the sound of their early records. It’s remembering an era before Pro Tools and doing the best you could with what was available. Others might call it’s intentionally-sounding basement/garage quality an interesting tactic. Danzig’s never been known for a normal, predictable path. Danzig goes from the industrial influence of Blackacidevil to the dark orchestration of the Black Aria releases to whatever he decides to do next. On Skeletons he covers everything from ’60s garage rock to the beginning of metal, from Everly to Aerosmith, and the dark side of Elvis keeping you guessing. “Let Yourself Go” is a stand-out track with a dark, heavy tribute to the The King that goes from the living Mr. Hyde to Elvis’s Dr. Jekyll. “N.I.B.” has a more industrial, prongy feel with Tommy Victor contributing. Danzig’s delivery doesn’t match the music with the chime-like gonging background effect, though the guitar gets torn up on the ending solo. Aerosmith’s “Lord of the Thighs” has a choppier, electric, crunchy sound with vocals being a subjective experience. The Litter’s “Action Woman” has better production and better performance, with a lot more dark power behind the pipes as he passionately roars out the lyrics. The ’60s garage feel is replaced by murky guitar and flat drums. ZZ Top’s “Rough Boy” gives off a ’50s vibe instead of the original slick polished ballad delivery with a romantic, greased-back, leather smile. It’s a bit clunky and almost a speed too slow. The Troggs’ “With a Girl Like You” sounds like a garage-static grunge tune with danceable energy, but he sounds like he’s having fun on this one. The Everly Brothers are “Crying in the Rain” with his haunting atmospheric spooky version closing the doors on the disc. So, like it, love it, or hate it, it’s unapologetically Danzig.

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Danzig: Skeletons