The Misfits anthem “We Are 138” is a hardcore blitz. Like much of the ‘Fits material, the repetitive, razor-sharp singalong hook makes the song instantly familiar, and you’re lucky if it doesn’t stick in your head all day.
Amazingly, this still-respectable blast was recorded in 1978, when the hardcore era had barely launched — before Black Flag’s seminal “Nervous Breakdown” was even released. “138” clocks in at a mere 1:42, and feels half as long. The song features one of the great minimalist guitar solos, a machine-gun blast by Franché Coma, who left the band in late 1978.
The term “138” has been the subject of some cryptic controversy for Misfits fiends. Classic-era ‘Fits bassist Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle have paraphrased its meaning poorly over the years, and Danzig clarified it last fall, explaining “It’s about violence. It’s a number for violence.” —D.X. Ferris