You gotta admit: he makes it easy. Whether it's holding out for soup or shopping for kitty litter, Glenn Danzig endears himself in the public consciousness well beyond the merits of his recent musical output, this through a steady pace of undermining his own dour self-seriousness via snicker-inducing public displays of quaint domesticity and pernicious pouting the likes of which, if scripted, would seem frankly unbelievable. The man's entire career has been backsliding from finished product to first draft from the start.
Which brings us to Skeletons, a stopgap album of covers centred around his early influences. For a guy nicknamed "Evil Elvis" apparently Glenn is unaware that we know he likes 50's and 60's rock, and he's here to clarify that notion right the fuck now. Actually, no bullshit… his tastes really ain't too shabby. In fact, opening track "Devil's Angels" (Davie Allan & The Arrows) would downright fucking destroy if it weren't hamstrung by an absolutely godawful production; apparently in scouring the 60s record bins for cover fodder, Glenn peeped the "Closet Mix" of The Velvet Underground and took that as a challenge.
The production never really gets any better, unfortunately, which renders the entire album pretty much unlistenable, but cuts like "N.I.B." (Black Sabbath) and "Satan" (from the film Satan's Sadists) underscore just how hilariously over the top Glenn's from-the-gut bellow is without a robust guitar mix to mitigate it. This guy's diaphragm is like uncut China White and I frankly need my Danzig stepped on a little bit, thank you very much.
The bar band heroics reach an apex on a demo quality version of Aerosmith's "Lord of the Thighs", which still sounds like shit and quicksand vying for sediment supremacy in a seven layer dip, but at least Glenn acquits himself pretty well on this one… if the song choice is uninspired it's nonetheless one of the few times the man seems to have recaptured some of that old school electricity, although you'll have to take my word for it until the first chorus rolls around. "Action Woman" (The Litter) also catches him on a good day, so maybe if he decides to play some of these live they'd make for good, boot-stomping party fodder.
Just spare us a setlist mainstay in your cover of ZZ Top's "Rough Boy", Glenn. First of all, you're back to bad karaoke on the mic, bro; second of all, Texans don't take too kindly to death-rocking up their favored sons, and you barely got out of Austin alive last time as it was. Mostly, though, your instrumental reimagining of the tune sounds like something the Juan Croucier version of Ratt might have been demoing a year ago, and I don't think that's the look you were going for.
Skeletons isn't the first album Glenn Danzig has self-produced, but in the time of whatever gods may or may not exist please let it be his last. There are quality tunes to work with here, and Glenn only falls on his face about half the time, but the whole thing is boom box quality at best: tinny yet muddy too, roughly one out of every three guitar notes or drum fills actually making it through the garage ambience to the cheap Radio Shack onboard mic… I just can't fathom who listened to this and deemed it worthy of public release.
Wait a minute. Yeah I do.
7/10 in potential, 2/10 in execution