We’ve got to admit, there are certain factions holed up at TINAS Towers that are a bit partial to some old school power punk shenanigans. So when ‘How To Sail A Sinking Ship’, the latest album from Chicago upstarts JuiceheaD landed on our mat, we were up and pogoing in no time. Released on 14th February on the Misfits Records label, and produced by long-time Misfits and Ramones collaborator John Cafiero, let’s face it, before it even hits the stereo, you’ve got a pretty solid idea on what you’re going to get…
With 20 tracks coming in at just over the hour mark, JuiceheaD are definitely giving you value for money. The formula is completely traditional with spiky, aggressive and catchy tunes, bouncing around within the confines of very familiar territory. Comparisons can very easily be made with Rancid, Misfits, Ramones, The Clash, Toy Dolls, even early Green Day to name but a few … take your pick. So there’s no mould being broken but it still is a quality release.
A dark edge lies over the album, straight out of the Misfits school of horror punk. Upbeat guitar driven tracks with thought provoking titles and lyrics. “Rotting From The Inside” is a riot; aggressive and punchy with the added bonus guest backing vocals from Cafiero. “Lorraine” is an incredibly infectious pogo bouncer of a track… so what if we’re bouncing along to lyrics about drowning a stripper! “Death Of Democracy” highlights the musical dark edge, with haunting and poignant guitar work hurled into the mix. “Black Roses” throws a further curve ball, with a splendid foray into punk balladry, complete with cello work courtesy of Melora Creager (Nirvana, Rasputina).
“How To Sail A Sinking Ship” is a modern cocktail of all the old school great power punk traits. Ska, reggae and punk are all blended together with youthful exuberance, but as much as there are some quality stand out tracks, on the whole it does border on becoming a little “samey”, especially considering there are 20 tracks. Perhaps there should have been a bit of a cull and quite easily five or six tracks could have been culled. By the time we had reached “Rick James” and “Until We Meet Again” we were wondering whether we had mistakenly put the disc on repeat.
A quality release, albeit a little over long. It will ride high on our playlist, but we may have to do some selective track culling on the TINAS Towers iPod.
JuiceheaD are heading over to these shores in support of the Misfits on the following dates:
1st LONDON, O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON
2nd READING, SUB 89
3rd BIRMINGHAM, THE BALLROOM
4th NEWCASTLE, O2 ACADEMY NEWCASTLE
5th BRIGHTON, CONCORDE 2
6th BRISTOL, THE FLEECE