Tuesday, November 29, 2011

JuiceheaD-How to Sail a Sinking Ship

Misfits Records

Chicago has long had a history of producing killer punk rock bands. Legendary acts like Naked Raygun have made Chicago one of the true hot spots for straight ahead punk rock. JuiceheaD are just the latest power punk outfit to take a stab at unleashing politically-charged 3 cord fury. "How to Sail a Sinking Ship" is a great follow-up to their debut album "The Devil Made Me Do It" and finds guitarist/vocalist Rob Vannice doing his best to entertain folks with old school punk. Listening to this album took me back somewhat with images of Bad Religion, the Ramones and Rancid dancing in my head. At their best JuiceheaD rattles the cage with quality tried and trusted punk like a hungrier Good Riddance. At their worst though the record tends to level out and lose some of its youthful charm. Most punk records that have 20 songs are usually wrapped up in under a half an hour. The fact that this one lasts a little over an hour means JuiceheaD risk overstaying their welcome. Still though this is some fun punk with rock steady riffs and youthful energy. Longtime Misfits & Ramones collaborator John Cafiero does a great job capturing JuiceheaD's youthful spirit on this record. His production is sound enough while retaining enough punk edge to make the album feel like an old familiar friend. The album has unreal hooks and feels like honest to God punk. This is a rare event these days with corporate pop/punk bands and mallcore crashing our industry. These kids sound like the real deal and write songs full of honest rage, frustration, hope and sadness. With guests like Osaka Popstar frontman Cafiero (who does backing vocals for the awesome “Rotting from the Inside”), cellist Melora Creager (Nirvana, Rasputina) and The Punk Pipers (who add traditional bagpipes to the track “When I Fall From Grace”) the album has loads to offer. One of my favorite cuts would have to be the old school thrasher "Death to Democracy". Talk about punk rock 101. "Death to Democracy" was a flashback moment for this old guy and really had me thinking about the glory days. It is good to know there is still traditional punk bands out there like JuiceheaD who play with a chip on their shoulder and a thirst to right the real wrongs of this world.


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