CD Review of The Lost Tracks of Danzig by Glen Danzig

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The Lost Tracks of Danzig
starstarstarno starno star Label: Evilive
Released: 2007
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I get the impression that if Glen Danzig recorded himself having an extremely lively bowel movement and released it, his fans would snap it up and call it the greatest spoken word album of all time. From this we can conclude that his rabid fanbase is going to collect and grab all things Danzig, which is perhaps why, in lieu of a new record, the old muscled-up, black clad, Satan-friendly son of a gun with a Jim Morrison-esque voice sifted through his outtakes and finished every last one of ‘em. The Lost Tracks contains 26 songs and a cauldron’s fill of music. Despite some drawbacks, there are things to like about it. The cover art is pretty freakin’ scary and cool, while the track-by-track liner notes give you some insight into happy old Glenn’s mindset during each. The one drawback is that this really could have been culled down to one excellent record instead of a decent double album. There is too much filler for it to be considered essential, yet there is enough strong material on it to salvage.

Some of it is uninteresting and sounds like ideas that just weren’t finished. “White Devil Rise,” Danzig’s response to Louis Farrakhan’s rhetoric about a race war, might be a taboo subject, but the song is boring and redundant. If not for the racially charged subject matter, it wouldn’t be worth noticing. “Come to Silver,” a track written for Johnny Cash, is a sparse recording consisting of vocal track and acoustic guitar. It falls flat. It is interesting to hear him in a completely different genre, but it doesn’t flatter his voice. “Deep” features Danzig channeling Trent Reznor. Again, he should be applauded for the stretch, but the execution is off. “When Death Had No Name” feels like a winding journey without a real destination. “I Know You Lie,” featuring Danzig screaming the chorus as if he were caught in a bear trap, is unnecessary.

Don’t get me wrong, some of it is really good and tasty. The T. Rex cover “Buick Mckane” pops, as does the incredibly bizarre, metalized version of David Bowie’s “Cat People.” The blues-on-steroids delivery of “Crawl across Your Killing Floor” is irresistible.  “Bound by Blood” builds to an arena-worthy hammer to the skull anthem. The “dug-dug-dug-dug” thud of the bass and power chords is devilishly delicious.  In the melding of metal, pop and psychedelica, Danzig sounds like he is actually having fun during the Germ’s “Caught in My Eye.” I know people are tired of the comparison, but listen to “When Death Had No Name” and tell me you can’t hear Jim Morrison.

There is enough here to justify the purchase, you just have to sift through it a bit.

~R. David Smola