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The Devil’s Rain

Now just down to Jerry Only, it’s hard to face this new Misfits album without some trepidation. I will confess to being a big fan in the olden times, first reading about these New Jersey Horror Punks in the pages of Sounds magazine, and then some of the more informed ‘zines, before chancing across a copy of their seminal Beware Of 12” for the princely sum of one pound at a record fair in ’84. That record, and the amazing Static Age recordings of the band in their primitive ’78 state, are pretty much the essentials for me. All I’ve needed.

I went and saw Danzig on their first UK tour in ’88 (supporting Metallica) and figured that was as close as I would get to a taste of the Misfits legacy. Then, in the mid-Nineties there was a regrouping of sorts with Only and his guitarist brother Doyle in the line-up. It wasn’t enough for me to go see them initially, but then curiosity got the better, and I stumped up for a ticket to see them at The Camden Underworld. I was suitably entertained, and they put on a crowd pleasing show, high on theatrics and all the hits (from hell). I recall also having a hilarious time one night with former ‘fits guitarist Bobby Steele and drummer Joey Image, whose Undead we put on in Brighton. But my time with the present-day Misfits was done, and in the ensuing years I’ve been only vaguely aware they still existed, and continued to tour.

The Devil’s Rain is 16 all new/original tracks, with Jerry on bass and lead vocals, augmented by one time Black Flag alumni Dez Cadena on guitar, and some young dude on drums. They do a pretty okay job of retaining the Misfits sound, namely Jerry trying to sing like Danzig, and songs loaded with rousing choruses that celebrate B-Movies and Sci-Fi – indeed the track listing reads like an obscure films directory – Land of The Dead, The Black Hole, Twilight of The Dead, Curse of The Mummy’s Hand – and it goes on and on all the way to the closing Death Ray.

If you still hanker for a shot of modern day Misfits then this album ticks a lot of boxes, but expect music that’s often more Rock than Punk, and is just a bit too formulated and dramatic, but I’ve no doubt Jerry has his heart in the right place and has given these songs his very best shot. It’s high on horror business, but just don’t go expecting all hell to break loose.

Pete Craven