The Nutley Brass: Fiend Club Lounge – Misfits Meet the Nutley Brass


The Nutley Brass: Fiend Club Lounge – Misfits Meet the Nutley Brass
Label: Rykodisc
Release Date: 6/28/05
Review Date: 5/12/06

The Nutley Brass are back again with another highly enjoyable album of time-warped covers. This time they tackle the Misfits instead of the Ramones. In case you are unfamiliar with the concept, imagine orchestrated versions of your favorite Misfits songs, kind of like muzak, but more up tempo with a slight jazz feeling a la Esquivel. I can’t pinpoint the genre name for this, but back in the 60’s and 70’s they used to release a lot of this style of music for so-called hipsters, like easy listening jazz for the Leave it to Beaver crowd. In fact, record companies used to make albums of popular music and try to pass it off as the original artists on the unsuspecting public. So instead of Lou Reed singing Walk on the Wild Side, you’d get an easy listening instrumental when you spun it on the stereo console Hi-fi. The Nutley Brass is actually one guy arranging and performing it Sam Elwitt. The name comes from applying a New jersey town to Herb Albert’s Tijuana Brass. I’m getting off track here.

The Fiend Club Lounge is another solid record. Let’s face it, 99% of tribute albums suck. If you are a Misfits fan you can not help but enjoy this recording. Put it on for a hardcore Misfits fan and watch the reaction as the songs start to creep into consciousness and you get the inevitable “What the hell?” followed by a grin. The arrangements on Fiend Club Lounge seem to be a bit more lush than those found in the Ramones songbook. The better tracks are the ones that tend toward Esquivel-esque (say “Esquivel-esque” five times fast) inclusions of the oddness like “Teenagers from Mars”. Also, the cover art by monster movie poster artist Basil Gogos is truly excellent. Almost othe best part of the CD!.

There are only a couple of shortcomings with Fiend Club lounge, one being it’s relative shortness, at only 23 minutes of music. The other is that occasionally there are some instruments that sound a little keyboard-y. But otherwise, it’s well worth it. Let’s face it, today’s Misfits should not be called The Misfits. When a band you love isn’t making new music, it’s hard to breathe life into a catalog once you’ve played it a million times on your stereo. The Nutley Brass is a great way to enjoy the Misfits. In short, if you are a Misfits fan and don’t like this, then you are a dick.

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