Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Devil's Rain

It has been a long time coming ... almost a decade really.  The Misfits released an album of all new (mostly) material last week.  The Devil's Rain, named after that Shatner movie I've written about on The Last Picture Blog.  Awesome cover art from that artist who did all the Marvel Zombies covers.
With any new Misfits release, however, comes a small bit of dread.  I've been a Misfits fan for over half my life.  I've hung out with Mo and Doyle.  I gave them stuff to use in their lawsuit with Danzig.  I still have my Doyle Fan Club card (handed to me by Doyle).  I'm Member 00171.  I used to call them just to chat.  They gave me their cassette release of Kryst the Conqueror.  Dr. Chud, who came later, gave me a Sacred Trash release.  I blew off getting flown to Los Angeles for an interview with Korn to interview the Misfits instead.  Favorite release?  Legacy of Brutality.  I used to sing Misfits songs to my daughter to put her to sleep.  She's grown up with them.  I'm not just a casual fan.  But let's face it, Fiends, we all know the hesitation that accompanies a new release.  All the line-up changes.  The misguided songs.  The in-fighting.  The wrestling. It is sometimes like a soap opera.

I was excited about The Devil's Rain.  The cover itself gets the blood boiling.  I bought it (no freebie here), and then I hesitated to play it.  A day or two or three, actually.  Afraid that what I would hear would not please me.  Now, I know the band can't do another Legacy ... or Earth A.D..  Nor would I want it to.  But I feared a serious stumble. 

It's not a serious stumble.  There are some missteps, and it is bound to irritate people who think the Misfits died when Danzig did Samhain, but this release is a natural progression for a band that has been influx since the 1980s.  Perfection?  No.  Solid?  Definitely.  More solid than it should be given the circumstances. 

I'm not going to do a breakdown of every song.  I figure that is pointless and best left to people who write reviews solely for Amazon.  I will, however, say, that when you hear a song like "Cold In Hell" or "Jack the Ripper," you know you are in Misfits country.  The landscape is a bit different, but it still feels like home. 
I won't go into some of the more obvious problems, either.  Bad makeup choices and some lackluster singing in spots speak for themselves.  I'm also not going to compare this to Misfits of old, which if many of you remember, featured some line-up changes, as well.  What I will say is something that every Misfits fan can understand.

Gone are the days of old, and that's okay.  Had this release come from any other band it would be worthy of a few listens and then brought out only once a year or so.  This is the Misfits, though, and at this point anything that isn't a total disaster is a godsend.  We will listen to it enough to make the songs stick in our heads, and we will grow to love some of it, and skip the rest.  It could be far worse, and we know it.  The lyrics are pure Misfits.  Some of the hooks recall the bygone days.  The subject matter is what we've come to expect.  It's a class reunion, and while everyone has gone on to different things, they still seem oddly familiar.  More importantly, they're still fun to be around and it's comfortable to be there.  Do I sound like an apologist?  I sure as hell do, but I'd rather be an apologist for the Misfits than any other band any day of the week.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: Clicking on a link may earn me some cash, and as noted earlier, I bought this ... as did many a Misfits fan.