Misfits – The Devil’s Rain

October 6, 2011
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The Devil’s Rain

Dead kings rise? That's debatable. Striving to keep the legacy that is iconic horror-punk brigade Misfits alive for longer than their initial reign, bassist/sole original member—and now vocalist—Jerry Only has finally pushed cohorts Dez Cadena (guitar) and Eric Arce (drums) into the studio for their first album of new material in about a decade. To be fair, 1997’s American Psycho and 1999’s Famous Monsters proved that Only is a solid songwriter even without Danzig's somber hand. The sinewy guitar progressions and coupling of cryptic lyrics with floating melodies on The Devil's Rain is admirable and occasionally infectious. Moreover, production values on these straight-to-the-point punk songs mimic the aforementioned releases, giving these 16 tracks brightness and color. That said, this is far from a classic release.

An overabundance of half-time pacing has all but eliminated the hard, aggressive edge Misfits were once revered for, but that’s not the biggest problem. Point blank: Only is a crooner; a throaty singer worthy of Rat Pack or Damned tribute albums. He's nowhere near maintaining the dark grit, ferocious gusto or guttural severity Misfits songs require. Instead, he sounds like he’s trying way too hard for something that should come naturally, thereby turning potentially catchy tunes into something akin to those albums when Tom Jones and William Shatner tried to be metal. It's just kind of goofy.

The Devil's Rain yields little more than incredible frustration, a mixed bag witih some great tunes worthy of inclusion in Misfits' second generation yet sorely lacking in primeval vitality. While the band’s heritage has been hanging on by a thread for decades, The Devil's Rain is but an undercharged defibrillator to its decomposing corpse.


“Twilight Of The Dead”

Written by Keith Carman

HQ: Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Skulking around the Canadian music scene as a writer and musician for many moons, somehow (namely thousands of dollars in bribes they call “tuition”) I managed to convince the University of Toronto to issue me a degree in English whereby I begat editing for local rags. That led to a “career—as in subsidized by hard labour—whereby I've been pecking out music, business and special features articles/reviews for a variety of international publications but mainly here in the Great White North. People don't tend to trust the deadline-meeting abilities of those they think still live surrounded by moose and igloos. Can't blame them...sometimes all that seal blubber makes the keys on the typewriter stick. For fun, I've managed to tour North America in a horribly-forgettable pop/punk band before joining a horribly-forgettable punk rock 'n' roll band. Surprisingly, we've been able to take on North America and Europe in the onslaught of blandness. At that, why the hell would Alternative Press take me on? Sheer pressure. After pestering Scott Heisel at the behest of adored colleague/AP stringer Samuel Sutherland, Mr. Heisel eventually realized he was in a lose-lose situation; it was probably better to add me to the roster than field even more queries of, “Did you read my shit yet?”   10 ALL-TIME ALBUMS: Misfits - Box Set Hellacopters - By The Grace Of God Zeke - Dirty Sanchez Turbonegro - Ass Cobra Slayer - Reign In Blood Jawbreaker - Dear You Hookers - Black Visions Of Crimson Wisdom Necros - Tangled Up Suicidal Tendencies - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow Rocket From The Crypt - Live From Camp X-Ray