The Misfits - The Devil's Rain (Cover Artwork)

The Misfits

The Misfits: The Devil's RainThe Devil's Rain (2011)
The Misfits

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In a very direct way, Jerry Only and crew are as hampered by the "Misfits" tag as they are supported. Certainly, without the powerful iconic imagery that comes with the band, Only, the sole remaining member from the group's original form, would not have the publicity he currently enjoys, as is evide.
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In a very direct way, Jerry Only and crew are as hampered by the "Misfits" tag as they are supported. Certainly, without the powerful iconic imagery that comes with the band, Only, the sole remaining member from the group's original form, would not have the publicity he currently enjoys, as is evidenced by the transience of Only's first post-original Misfits band, Kryst the Conqueror. But, as the group stomps through The Devil's Rain, it becomes abundantly clear that while the band has some real power, they might just be going through the motions.

Now composed with Only on vocals and bass, Dez Cadena, Black Flag's third vocalist, on guitar, and brand new drummer Eric "Chupacabra" Arce on drums, the Misfits craft some energetic, if not snappy, ghoul-themed numbers that highlight the band's skill. In recent years, Only has been criticized for using the Misfits moniker, but the Misfits were the Misfits for a reason, and still, no one seems to slam the bass quite like the massive Only. Now on vocals, Only has clearly taken time to improve his voice. Where he simply used to shout, his voice has become cleaner and more smooth, at times almost resembling '50s crooners like Dion and Del Shannon, who blended the dying doo-wop with the infant rock and roll.

Cadena, now on lead guitar, also brings his singular approach to the recording, tearing through the tunes as if he was still backing Black Flag's Greg Ginn in a combination of simple chords that sound more like dynamite explosions than strums, which occasionally jump into jazz-based freak-outs. Although it's exciting to hear Cadena take vocals on two tracks, he opts to use his deeper, space roc- influenced howl heard on his DC3 albums in lieu of his skull-cracking bark from the "Louie, Louie" single. Arce handles drums in a combination of tribal stomping and Ramones-constant cadence that moves the band, but never quire seems to get them excited.

But, while the band has technical chops, it almost seems like they are singing about the occult and undead merely because that's what the Misfits are supposed to do. When original vocalist Glenn Danzig detailed "the insemination of little girls in the middle of wet dreams," it seemed like that was something he was actually into. Even when second Misfits vocalist, Michael Graves, wailed that he was "crying on a Saturday night," it seemed he was pulling from true early 20s dejection. But, when Only sings about mummies, or Frankenstein, or even hell, it doesn't seem like that's what he feels is important, but what he is limited to in subject matter, leaving the tunes without any sense of conviction.

Notably, when the band does become most alive is when they play the style of music that excites them. When Only drops into a doo-wop style on "The Black Hole" he pulls off the forgotten style so well that not only do the silly lyrics cease to be silly, but the tune genuinely could have come out in 1961. Thankfully, unlike the legion of "horror-punk" bands that have ripped off the Misfits' m.o., the original ghouls never stop to wink at their own tongue-in-cheek lyrics, which gives the lukewarm words some bite, as opposed to just making them pure exercises.

The Devil's Rain certainly isn't a disgrace and long-running fans will find at least a few things to enjoy about the album. It's just frustrating that when the band snaps together and plays what they truly want to play, they aren't so much "the Misfits" as a band containing a hefty amount of punk talent and experience. Instead of leaving the past behind, they seem to cling to it, forever condemning themselves to comparisons of previous incarnations.


People who liked this also liked:
Black Flag - Slip It InTeenage Bottlerocket - TotalAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Germs - M.I.A.: The Complete AnthologyBlack Flag - Nervous BreakdownBlack Flag - My WarAndrew W.K. - I Get WetScreeching Weasel - First World ManifestoAlkaline Trio - My Shame Is TrueWavves - Afraid of Heights

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
anytime (November 27, 2012)

Honestly, after dis-tasting it from the start. I gave it a few listen's again and i enjoy it. I really enjoy father, Vivid Red, Ghost of Frankenstein, Also enjoy Dez's voice in horror punk. I think the drumming is awesome, classic stuff, Jerry's been holding up the fort like he wants to which is respectable. Maybe Dez is the only awesome thing about the Misfits now which i thought so. But its growing on me.

Amoeba (January 4, 2012)

I would like to correct my previous post by saying that this record is actually pretty bad...

I've changed my mind.. it happens

Amoeba (November 9, 2011)

Good Review... I don't know if it's the fact fact that I never really followed the Misfits more than for the early stuff, but this record sounds ok to me...
Poppy stuff, decent production, nice artwork (ridiculous costums, though)... But it surely don't deserve all the hate...

abcdefuck (October 24, 2011)

Fucking horrible.

undeadsailor (October 23, 2011)

I fucking hate that they're still called The Misfits, but I still have a small desire to hear this.

MonkDave (October 22, 2011)

I think the review is incorrect in that this album IS a disgrace. It has to be one of the worst records I've ever heard and I love old Misfits and thought "American Psycho" was a great "comeback" record as well. This is just fucking dogshit though. I gave it about 10 spins in a row and it got worse with every listen. Anyone who was capable of writing songs for this band is long gone, this record should never have happened. Absolute travesty.

stevilpromotions (October 22, 2011)

I actually like this album... It seems to be growing more and more on me. Doesnt have the feel of American or Monsters but it rocks thru-out!

Misanthropee (October 22, 2011)

It absolutely blows my mind that anyone would buy this.

TahoeJeff (October 22, 2011)

This isnā??t a rock album. This album is a symphony of anthems representative of The Misfits' evolution in pop/music culture and indicative of their revolutionary stance that punk rock breeds diversity and breaks down walls.

Joeydevil (October 21, 2011)

This album is terrible and boring. It sounds way forced.

telegraphrocks (October 21, 2011)

This... this isn't good.

GlassPipeMurder (October 21, 2011)

I believe this is an accurate assessment.

Dante3000 (October 21, 2011)


I saw the daily show bit too, but that wasn't how he sounded with the Misfits. I never saw them live but on record the dude was great. I still love a lot of his songs.

eatdogs (October 21, 2011)

"This would be a decent album if Graves was singing on it."

i have never heard graves sing except for that funny daily show interview they did with him. i assumed he just barks the vocals to misfits songs which doesn't sound that good to me. i'd rather listen to danzig sing them, but since everyone talks about graves as being the better vocalist post-danzig well, i guess i better check it out then...

thepopeofchili-town (October 21, 2011)

This would be a decent album if Graves was singing on it.

darbystrummer77 (October 21, 2011)

well written review for a mediocre album.

totalbummer (October 21, 2011)

What a boring album.

Dante3000 (October 21, 2011)

John Gentile, doing everything better than everyone else, ever.

eatdogs (October 21, 2011)

"@eatdog You haven't heard? According to Misfits's Facebook page, The Devil's Rain is the #1 selling punk album on Amazon.com! Somebody shoot their publicist."

dang...i wonder if they will outsell patrick stump???

sailin_on (October 21, 2011)

@eatdog You haven't heard? According to Misfits's Facebook page, The Devil's Rain is the #1 selling punk album on Amazon.com! Somebody shoot their publicist.

BarleyPat (October 21, 2011)

Terrefic review, very well written.

eatdogs (October 21, 2011)

i kind of doubt this album will sell like crazy unless hot topic and other popular chain stores have it promoted during the current 2011 halloween season...

Shogun (October 21, 2011)

Yeah great review. This albums lacks all the heart that I love about past albums.

discofucker (October 21, 2011)

Good review, horrific album.

On a side note, I am insanely excited to see the Danzig Legacy show in NYC the Saturday before Halloween. There will be more Misfits on stage for that than are on this record.

sailin_on (October 21, 2011)

I disagree. You wrote a great review but I think this album IS a disgrace to anyone that has been amazed by the Misfits catalog. This is just a weak rip off. They fail to pull any sense of real 'horror' into their lyrics, the music is generic at best, and Jerry can't even come close to matching his predecessors vocally. Of course this album is going to sell like crazy, because it has the Misfits moniker. But that is a pretty lame excuse for a selling point if you ask me. Side note: Not to mention they didn't do any justice to their tunes during the live performance I saw. They played so fast I actually had to stop and figure out what song they were playing. If they really give a shit about their music, they sure don't act like it.

Rowan187 (October 21, 2011)

I actually completely agree with this review. The whole album sounded amazing, but the lyrics/vocals were definitely the weak spot. I liked how Only's voice made the album have that awesome 50/60/whatever garage sound like the early Misfits, but the lyrics definitely seemed way too _forced_ into being about things you'd expect to hear from an early Misfits song about b-side movies. 3/5.

justthetip (October 21, 2011)

Good review. Not a good album though.

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