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15 Great Misfits Covers

Metallica, Green Day and many others put their own spin on pioneering band’s horror-punk anthems

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NEW YORK - MARCH 1: Glenn Danzig (R) and Doyle von Frankenstein (L) of punk band The Misfits perform onstage at Spirit March 1, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Scott Gries/Getty

Riot Fest has scored the biggest punk reunion of the year with "The Original Misfits," which features founding frontman Glenn Danzig performing with bassist Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. At the fest's Denver installment, taking place September 2nd through 4th, the trio will appear onstage together for the first time in more than 30 years. In the decades since the original Misfits split, countless metal, punk and indie-rock groups have kept the group's legacy alive with passionate covers of their anthemic horror-punk classics. Here are a few of our favorites.

My Morning Jacket; Hollywood Babylon

MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 13: Jim James of My Morning Jacket performs during the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 13, 2015 in Manchester, Tennessee. (Photo by Josh Brasted/WireImage)

Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty

My Morning Jacket, “Hollywood Babylon”

The Misfits cast a long shadow in Louisville, Kentucky – Will Oldham and Slint connections run particularly deep – and the influence even yielded a couple covers compilations under the name Louisville Babylon. John King, who helms a label called Louisville is for Lovers, released the second volume in 2007, and it contains a version of "Hollywood Babylon" by local heroes My Morning Jacket; only 666 copies of the Louisville Babylon double CD exist, and digital files are hard (if not impossible) to find, so this track is a rare treat by default. 

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Venetian Snares, “She”

On 2003's aptly titled Winter in the Belly of a Snake, Canadian electronica artist Aaron Funk managed to out-spook the Misfits with this take on their Patty Hearst ode. Subbing out guitars for stern strings and churchlike organs, Funk's Stygian rendition is less of a song and more of an invocation.

Will Oldham; Die, Die My Darling

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 29: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy performs on stage during Celtic Connections Festival at The Old Fruit Market on January 29, 2012 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns)

Ross Gilmore/Redferns/Getty

Will Oldham, “Die, Die My Darling”

In his younger years, enigmatic singer-songwriter Will Oldham received a package from Glenn Danzig containing the Misfits' 1977 debut seven-inch, "Cough/Cool" b/w "She" – at least according to a 2009 New Yorker profile. Oldham covers the Misfits like its part of his heritage, and even though his "Die, Die My Darling" begins in an unrecognizable place, his anguished howl at the song's end should do Danzig proud.

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The Lemonheads, “Skulls”

More than a decade after the Lemonheads tacked an acoustic cover of "Skulls" at the end of their 1991 EP, Favorite Spanish Dishes, frontman Evan Dando told the A.V. Club, "I always thought it would be funny to have a really sensitive, folky version of that." Sure, Dando's forlorn vocals sound absurd when he sings about using skin like wallpaper, but the grain of his voice gives the cover magnetic weight.

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Rob Crow, “Astro Zombies”

Among the many projects Pinback co-frontman Rob Crow has cycled through over the years is DevFits, which melds Devo and the Misfits into insane creations, but Crow will bust out Devo-less Misfits covers in his live shows. His stripped-down interpretation of the scorched-earth anthem "Astro Zombies" reveals a pathos and vulnerability hidden in the original.

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