New Misfits, post-reunion Misfits, Jerry and the Only's, whatever you'd like to call them--they're not very good. A huge fan of the original incarnation and the 90's version of the Misfits, I've seen Jerry Only's show several times over the last few years, and the live set never fails to disappoint. After Michale Graves left the band, Only got by singing for a while, and brought along folks like Marky Ramone, Robo, and Dez Cadena to back him up, and it wasn't too bad. But he completely lost it a few years ago. Playing the Danzig-era, and some Graves-era, tunes at ridiculously fast speeds, producing a sloppy mess only vaguely recognizable as Misfits songs.
But still, I was kinda looking forward to this album, hoping there might be something worth hearing contained in its fifty-one minutes. After all, I've listened to the "Project 1950" covers album many times since it came out in 2003, and that's got Jerry singing.
No such luck here. Basically, the new album starts out adequately, and after song #2, goes straight down the shitter. I'd say "straight down to Hell," but since this is a Misfits album (of sorts), that would be a compliment. No, "Devil's Rain" takes us nowhere near Hell, but rather to a budget theme park for the whole family, with no scary rides, no roller coaster loops, and nothing too exciting.
Here's a breakdown of the tracks:
"Devil's Rain" really isn't a bad opener. It's got a midtempo beat and is bookended by a thunderstorm, with a catchy chorus, and, while it isn't as good an intro as "Abominable Dr. Phibes" or "Kong at the Gates," it gets the job done. This is followed by "Vivid Red," probably the best song on the album. One of the few almost-thrashers "Devil's Rain" has to offer.
Makes me wonder who wrote which songs on "American Psycho" and "Famous Monsters". Lyrics and music on those albums are credited to the band as a whole, but I know from interviews with Michale Graves that different members were responsible for various songs. Graves still performs some of the tunes he wrote for the band, at his solo shows or with various other projects. Musically, "Devil's Rain" isn't very catchy or heavy, two things the Graves-era (and, of course, the Danzig-era) most certainly were, and the lyrics are beyond stupid.
I'm not sure who this album was written for, or if anyone even gives a shit about what the Misfits might be doing these days. If Jerry, Dez, and the guy from Murphy's Law wrote this album for themselves and are happy with it, then good for them. But I can't imagine any fan of either Danzig-era or Graves-era Misfits finding much to like on here. I wonder if they'll speed these songs up for their live show. Actually, that wouldn't be a bad idea, if they have to play them at all: speed some of these bastards up a bit and return the older songs to their proper paces. Or perhaps they'll play these songs in a "block" the way they usually incorporate the "American Psycho" and "Famous Monsters" tunes into their sets, giving the audience a chance to use the bathroom, get a beer, or contemplate leaving early.