MUNSTERS MASH, PART 1: ANACRUSIS
It’s October, and Halloween season is officially here. This week, on the TV front, there’s been talk of rebooting The Munsters series. Again. It seems redundant for any of number reasons, including but not limited to: It’s been done before, and in this era of Hot Topic, you don’t need the Munsters to get a look at some video footage of a goth girl. But anyhow…
The talk of the Munsters relaunch reminded me of the Marshall Act. Passed by a Democrat-dominated Congress in 1987, it required all metal and crossover bands to cover composer Jack Marshall’s Grammy-nominated Munsters theme. Approximately three of every ten working metal crews recorded a cover of it over the next six years.
To commemorate the season of the witch, each week between now and the end of the Samhain, MetalSucks will spotlight one metal version of the Munsters theme. Our inaugural version is by Anacrusis.
The St. Louis also-rans were way ahead of their time. They blended thrash-, melodic-, tech-, and prog metal into a mix that holds up surprisingly well. Bill Metoyer (Slayer, the Accused, DRI) produced the band’s last LP, and Death’s Chuck Schuldiner personally invited the group to support his band. Anacrusis singer-guitarist Kenn Nardi recalled recording their version of the most riffolicious TV tune:
“I’m not sure how many bands covered it since, but I guess the rockin’ bassline made it an obvious choice. I guess the Munsters was the closet thing to metal on TV back in the ’60s and ’70s.
“In the early days of Anacrusis, our drummer and I used to mess around and jam a short version during band practices. We both listened to lots of punk bands at the time and we knew the version by a band called the White Pigs that used to be played on the local college radio show. (I don’t know anything else about them.)
“We never really figured out how to actually play the whole thing correctly and just faked our way around the main riff. But when we did local shows we’d play it at soundcheck just to mess around. People recognized it and loved it. We never really took it seriously though or considered it an actual cover version. Ours was more a cover of a cover.
“In 1988 we went into the studio to record our debut album, Suffering Hour, for $1,200 in about six days. We tracked everything live besides the vocals and solos and when we were just wrapping things up, we ran asked if we could run through the Munsters Theme really quickly. Our manager wasn’t happy about it, but we did it anyhow.
“We played it a million miles an hour and flew through it once just to have a recording of it. That song, along with a cover of Sabbath’s ‘N.I.B.,’ were both recorded that day, but not included on an version of the album. We never really intended to use it officially. Years later, when I put up the Anacrusis website, I included all kinds of demos and things like that and decided to put our version up for fun, and somehow it ended up on YouTube. It was never even mastered or anything, and the version that is out there is right from the cassette we ran off in the studio a couple days later.”
Click the pic above to listen, or you can download it free below:
ANACRUSIS, “THE MUNSTERS THEME”
Anacrusis reformed earlier this year to play some shows and re-record their first two albums, Suffering Hour and Reason Revisited, as the Hindsight double CD. And by all accounts, it sets a standard an how to polish up old material without retconning in some bullshit that doesn’t belong . The band has just booked a set at Germany’s Rock Hard Festival in June 2011. Get a taste of the new version of “Present Tense” from their debut album here:
Did your band mosh it up with the Munsters? Send a link to MetalSucks, and maybe we’ll pick you for next week’s edition.
D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer. You can friend it on the Facebook, or follow his bullshit daily on the Tweeters: @dxferris and @SlayerBook. He’s probably watching the Charlie Brown Halloween special right now.