The Goblins

Missing Fits (My Pal God)

Just in time for Halloween comes Missing Fits, the third full-length CD from masked Chicago punk rock funnymen the Goblins. But is the album a trick or a treat? Actually, it's a bit of both.

Following a hearseload of Goblins EPs, singles, and compilation tracks, Missing Fitsis a tribute of sorts to horror-punk legends the Misfits. The party line is that Goblin band members Buh Zombie, Dom Nation, Phantom Creeper, and Beau Grumpus were shown a Misfits minicoffin while visiting the offices of Touch and Go Records in 1999. Left alone with the stage prop, the Goblins discovered a secret compartment full of Misfits goodies -- including sheet music and a rare acetate of the infamous New Jersey quartet attempting doo-wop -- which they promptly absconded with. Hence, this album of "previously unrecorded" Misfits material. Whatever you say, guys.

Adding to its tenuous value, this multimedia CD contains a truly stupid game demo called Ponglin and three laughable no-budget QuickTime videos that are worth a viewing or two. The video for "4 Food Groups" (which are blood, blood, blood, and brains) showcases the Goblins' supremely mediocre skateboarding abilities; "Blood Drinkers" features gory effects and production values that would make Coven director and American Movie star Mark Borchardt proud.

On the musical side, the Goblins manage to cram 11 humorous tracks into a scant 13 minutes. To the band's credit, many of the tunes actually sound like something the earlier group might have tossed off in a moment of silliness. The Goblins have that whole Misfits "whoa-oa-oa" anthemic chorus down cold (not that it's particularly hard to do), and songs like "Blood Drinkers," "Final Massage," and "Who Killed Agnes Moorehead?" parallel such Misfits classics as "Braineaters," "Last Caress," and "Who Killed Marilyn?" Some of this sideways parody is truly funny: While the nasty Misfits' archetypal "Bullet" was about JFK's bad day in Texas, the Goblins' "Pellet" focuses on the assassination of William McKinley and begins with the very un-Misfits line, "President modified his tariff position." Maybe these songs were buried for a reason.

Joke records are tough to review objectively, and Missing Fitsis no exception. The album does have moments of inspired whimsy, including smartly parodic packaging, lengthy and occasionally chuckle-inducing liner notes, and some good fun-poking at Misfits vocalist Glen Danzig. Hard-core fans with a sense of humor might want to add this album to their Halloween goodie bags; non-aficionados of knuckleheaded punk may want to steer clear of the Goblins' door.

 
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