10. Misfits, 'Walk Among Us' (1982)
For some, hardcore was about social commentary or emotional release, but Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig was just looking to have a good time. "More people are into the band now, but we're still misunderstood, especially by the political punks," the New Jersey–born singer told the Flesh and Blood zine in 1983. "They're looking at the music as 'what can punk rock do to further my political beliefs?' and we're looking at it as 'yeah, let's have fun.'" If that was the band's objective, Danzig & Co. never achieved it more fully than on Walk Among Us, an album that mashed together aggro three-chord riffs, bubblegum-pop hooks (complete with "whoa-oh" sing-alongs), and lyrics packed with B-horror-movie imagery and stomach-churning violence. The songs' frantic tempos and loutish backing vocals couldn't obscure Danzig's extraordinarily supple, Elvis-indebted pipes, which gave even Walk's most antisocial moments – "Skulls" ("Hack the heads off little girls/And put 'em on my wall"), "Astro Zombies" ("And your face drops in a pile of flesh/And then your heart, heart pounds/Till it pumps in death"), "Hatebreeders" ("Murder one inborn into your every cell/It's in your blood and you can't shake it") – a timeless teen-idol appeal. Pop-punk's heyday was still a decade off when the Misfits broke up in '83, but the band's influence looms large: No self-respecting band in the genre is without a Walk Among Us cover or three in its repertoire. "We can play almost every Misfits song," Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba told the Dallas Observer. "I love The Misfits, but it's not brain surgery." H.S.