Jerry Only needs an intervention.


Jerry Only

Image via Wikipedia

I wanted to love the new Misfits album.  Really, I did.  I of course, love the original incarnation of the band.  I really dug the 90’s Misfits too, even if it was without question an entirely different band with a different sound & different direction.  I mean, I like Samhain, Danzig, The Undead, Graves, Gotham Road, and most of the slew of other related bands, so why not the new Misfits?

I think Jerry Only has surrounded himself with people too afraid or too dumb to tell him no or keep him in check.  ([cough]John Cafiero?[cough])  Danzig arguably has the same problem.  As an artist you need a healthy amount of “I’m going to do something crazy” room in your creative process.  Sometimes, that’s the only way to achieve the next level of awesome.  It gave us the Danzig album out of Samhain, and it gave us the Shocking Return of the Misfits (a.k.a. The Misfits™ or M95).  It gave us my favorite Danzig song, “You and Me (Less Than Zero)”.  It also gave us Kryst the Conqueror.

American Psycho and Famous Monsters are solid albums, with a slight metal tinge to the old horror punk vibe and a lot more camp.  I was hoping that Devil’s Rain would be somewhat close to that.  It’s like the cutting-room floor material for those albums.  I would be embarrassed to have my name on this album were I involved in recording or production.  The songs don’t flow well.

There is stuff here with some potential, but it lacks a certain tweaking.  I have said the same stuff about Michale Graves‘ solo work.  I think he’s a great singer & songwriter, he’s just better tempered with a band.  With the 90’s Misfits, they all brought songs to the table.  Chud, Michale, Jerry, & Doyle all wrote songs or parts.  Right now, I feel like it’s the Jerry Only show, with a few scraps for Dez… and a leash for Goat, I mean… Eric “Chupacabra” Arce.  (Was Robo just sent a plane ticket home, or what?)

Jerry in a Jerry T-Shirt

Jerry in a Jerry T-Shirt

Jerry went wrong some time around when he started to wear the T-shirt of himself.  Was this before or after the band was falling apart?  It’s all such a blur.

I remember talking to him backstage on more than a few occasions.  He’s unarguably a great entertainer, an excellent showman, and a very cool guy to stick around to talk to fans, give interviews, and sign anything you’ll put in front of him.  (Although, I did one see him  refuse to sign a teenage girl’s boob… and it was hilarious – Kudos to him for not being a creeper.)  Where it goes from there is open to debate.

That being said, lackluster vocals can kill an album.  (See the Gorgeous Frankenstein album, then dig up the demo of the song “Gorgeous Frankenstein”. with Michale Graves on vocals.)  The aforementioned poor vocals do a spectacular job killing Devil’s Rain.  I can’t put my finger on it.  Jerry’s vocals aren’t bad live, but with this recording it’s evident that his range & the vocal power just aren’t where they need to be.  Dez would be great on a dirty punk record, but here it sounds like an old guy telling kids to get off his lawn.  The vocals have always been strong with the Misfits, be it Glenn or Michale.  On Devil’s Rain they fall flat (literally and figuratively).

The guitar tone is “eh”.  It lacks the metal punch that Doyle had going after Kryst the Conqueror, and it’s not quite the old dirty punk vibe.  I’m not big on the fills and solos.  I mean, we all know Franché Coma & Bobby Steele could do that, but they didn’t.  It wasn’t the Misfits’ thing with a few notable exceptions.  (I still think 12 Hits Form Hell is a damn-near perfect album & the Undead’s version is cool too.)

If the past Misfits stuff is campy, this album is just downright corny lyric-wise.  I mean, I like some goofy stuff (like Peelander-Z!), but this is the wrong kind of goofy entirely.

Father almighty turn the darkness to day
Father providing turning desert to grain
God’s son the Pharaoh speaks to Ra calling his name
Oh Ra, devour those who dare open my grave
Place a curse in his hand

Really?

I can listen to “Land of the Dead” which still needs something, but it’s undoubtedly the best of the bunch.

This is just one man’s opinion.  I’d be interested in yours.

Misfits | Devil's Rain

Misfits | Devil's Rain

5 responses to “Jerry Only needs an intervention.

  1. I think this is a lazy album. They sound bored. It seems like Jerry felt that he must put something out so fans would stop asking “when will we get a new cd?”

    If a band takes its time to make a album then I dont care how long it takes, but to get something out is just to get it out B.S. it seems to be the norm..

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  2. From strangerwithcandy_1 (a.k.a. “Tommy”) at PittsburghBeat.com:

    Like you, I WANTED to like it. I really gave it a try and even forced myself to listen to it 2 more times. I really can not convince myself that this album is “The Misfits” at all. It sounds like Kryst the Conqueror to me, only he took out the good parts. I want that heavy, thick guitar back that we heard in American Psycho and Famous Monsters… and for fucks sake Jerry, hire a singer! Stop trying to play the hero and do it yourself. I’ll even help you out, because I always believed that the singer from “Calabrese” would be a great Misfits vocalist. He’s not Danzig, he’s not Graves, and he has the perfect crooning vocals that have been a staple of the Misfits.

    To end this post, I want to mention that when I was backstage for the Misfits show that Your Everyday Funeral played, Jerry was a total dick and ignored everyone who tried to talk to him and insisted on shouting that the Steelers and the entire AFC North division “Sucked”, all while wearing a Giants hoodie. At least Dez was extremely nice and gave us all advice because he watched every band. Jerry came down and watched one, maybe 2 songs while we were on and then never came down again. Robo even talked to us and his english is TERRIBLE, but Jerry… well, to hell with Jerry.

    From @metalhead684 on Twitter:

    Also (of course) some discussion following a post on Misfits Central.

    Please, continue the discussion here. You can login as a guest, or via WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter.

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    • Tommy, I feel your pain… but I hate to slip into Jerry-bashing mode. I’ve had great and not-so-great experiences in dealing with him over the years. I don’t get the impression that he’s some kind of horrible person or anything. He’s really doing what he thinks is for the best, and you have to admire that. The man has let me hang out on multiple occasions, see sound-checks, eat their food, and used to be killer with fiend club correspondence. He’s always eager to give interviews, stick around & sign stuff for fans, and live up to the larger-than-life persona. (Some may argue that this feeds his need for ego-stroking, but whatever.) I have heard tales of great experiences (& had some of my own) with Glenn, Jerry, Michale, Doyle, Chud, & everyone involved… as well as stories to the contrary. They of course all seem to have varying opinions of each other depending on the day of the week and which way the wind is blowing. You’ve got to remember all of these guys are just that… just ordinary guys who happen to have music as a career. I’m sure they all have good days or off days. It is cool for a main band to watch an opener, but think about how many bands’ sets that Jerry Only has had to sit through since the late 70’s. Do you really expect him to watch every opener? Listen to every demo? He just needs someone to tell him that this album wasn’t acceptable, and I feel bad that he doesn’t have that.

      It’s awesome that Dez watched you guys. He seems like a cool guy, even if he looks like the walking dead & his peanut butter guitar solos don’t belong in my Misfits chocolate. I hear he’s doing a solo record, and I hope to pick it up when it’s out.

      Robo is a band-watcher from what I’ve seen & heard. The one interaction I remember with him basically boiled down to him indicating that he was looking for some young ladies to conquer with a giant grin. I got out of the way, just in case.

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  3. To Tommy & @metalhead684… I’d caution against any established singer coming in, especially a “horror punk” vocalist… be it Wed. 13, Bobby Calabrese, Davey Havok, the cat from Zombeast, Zoli… or anyone from a horror punk band. Myke Hideous was just awful. Graves was an unknown.

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