Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Undead at Tompkins Square Park

Bobby Steele & Diana Steele
Horror punk rock is a small and easily unnoticed subgenre of music, led by the Misfits and some of the band's offshoots. One of those fragments is the Undead, formed in 1980 in New Milford, New Jersey, when vocalist/guitarist Bobby Steele was fired from the Misfits. Steele moved to Manhattan and the Undead became the first band of the New York hardcore (NYHC) punk scene to sign a recording contract with a prominent label. The group went on hiatus in 2002 and Steele reformed it in 2006 with new members. During another hiatus, Steele released a solo album in 2009. He reformed the Undead again in late 2012 with yet another lineup. Over the past 36 years, the Undead released eight albums; the most recent, The Morgue... The Merrier, was released in October 2015. After many personnel changes, the Undead presently consists of Steele, keyboardist/vocalist Diana Steele, bassist Paul Mauled and singularly-named drummer Boris.

The Undead today headlined the annual free concert at Tompkins Square Park hosted by Chris Flash, the anarchistic newspaper the Shadow, and Time Warp Zine. The Undead's music was still too pop-melodic to be considered hardcore by later standards (more Ramones than Agnostic Front), but the sonic blast, speed and attitude remained firmly entrenched in original NYHC birth rites. The fury seemed to increase as the performance progressed. The show was a legitimate throwback to the origins of NYHC just a few yards away at the former A7 club.

Visit the Undead at