How To Sail A Sinking Ship

Written by: PP on 16/01/2012 23:33:25

Off the top of your head, what are the two things that AFI and Misfits have in common? That's right. Both are affiliated with horror punk, and neither has written a good album in pretty much a decade. There are some who argue otherwise, but if you ever liked AFI before they turned gay on "Decemberunderground", watching Davey Havok turn into - excuse my French - an emo pussy was a little too much to swallow (pun definitely intended). And as for Misfits...well, Danzig anyone? But not to worry. The ever-strong Chicago music scene has a new entrant in the form of JuiceheaD, who fill just that void on their sophomore album "How To Sail A Sinking Ship" (awesome title, btw).

Basically, JuiceheaD sound like a softer version of the old school AFI with all sorts of groovy old school influences added in for good measure. You can certainly hear the classic Misfits sound here a little bit, but also bands like The Clash, Rancid, and Ramones are present in a soundscape that essentially combines the best of both worlds. Even the politically charged straight up punk of Anti-Flag / Smoke Or Fire can be heard on a couple of instances where JuiceheaD modernise their sound, most notably on the snotty "A Fire That Always Burns". And though horror punk is the primary genre in action here, the expression is sufficiently mid tempo punk rock with catchy choruses that just calling it 90s style punk isn't entirely out of the question either.

The juxtaposition of the 70s-80s and a more modern flavor is what makes "How To Sail A Sinking Ship" a surprisingly strong album. The band knows how to write a killer chorus and lots of easy-going, unhurried punk rock that's inoffensive soundwise (though lyrically morbid). "Better Days", "Black Roses", or the aforementioned "A Fire That Always Burns" are all examples of rock solid songwriting that should carry JuiceheaD far, if it wasn't for their biggest weakness: they've included a total of 20 (!!) songs on the album, stretching it beyond the one hour mark. That's pretty much a no-no in punk rock, right? They could've written a 35-40 minute record that would've been on par with some of the best releases in the genre, because all the merely 'decent' tracks would've been cut and you would've been left with about 11 tracks worth of really catchy and well executed horror punk. As it stands now, quality control is needed, but the album impresses nonetheless with its homage to 90s AFI and Misfits enough to warrant awarding it a


Download: A Fire That Always Burns, Black Roses, Better Days
For the fans of: Anti-Flag, Misfits, old AFI, Star Fucking Hipsters, Rancid
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.10.2011
Misfits Records

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