Balzac Out of the Grave and Into the Dark

Devil-locked Japanese horror punks Balzac really like the Misfits. Indebted to Lodi, New Jersey’s finest for both their sonic template and their visual aesthetic, Balzac (whose name incongruously recalls the progenitor of French literary realism) are in good with the current Glenn Danzig-less incarnation of the Misfits; the two bands have shared the stage throughout Japan, and Balzac are signed to the Misfits Records imprint. To say that Balzac are derivative is true but beside the point — neither in their anthemic punk, nor in their skeleton-suited hi-jinks, nor yet with their "Fiendish Club” fan club do they aspire to any kind of originality. As a kind of J-Pop Misfits cover band, Balzac succeed entirely: the melodies, the speed, the attitude and the look are all there. This generous 80-minute compilation presents the fruits of two self-produced Balzac sessions, Came out of the Grave and Darkism, and includes a bonus DVD of spirited, megaphone-driven live performances before a receptive Tokyo crowd, and a legitimately creepy short horror film produced by the band and credited to a host of infamous serial killers. (Rykodisc)