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Misfits sound retouched, yet still familiar

A ghoulish red rain ends a decade of despair for aging punk. With their first album in 10 years and just in time for Halloween, the highly-influencial punk-cult trio, the Misfits, releases a full-length collection of original songs.

The LP, entitled “The Devil’s Rain,” was released on Jerry Only’s (lead vocals/bass) independent record label, Misfits Records, and marks a stylistic rejuvenation and debut for the band and its notorious fiend mascot. The band’s official website heralds “The Devil’s Run” as a “total reboot” that “redefines the ferocity and melody that has made the Misfits immortal.”

Although it’s true the image of the group is retouched with outstanding cover art and equally-impressive portraiture by famed iconographer Mick Rock, the bones of their sound are all still there. The album falls short of being the opus it’s been hyped to be, but that’s why real Misfits fans should buy it.

The sounds on this album are just as gritty and creepy as the old Misfits records. Tracks like “Vivid Red,” “Twilight of the Dead” and “Ghost of Frankenstein” all have the same slow thrash feel that has made the group a favorite of sloppy mosh-pitters since 1980.

A welcome departure from the Misfits repertoire is the surprisingly aware feminism of “Where Do They Go?” The track addresses the discovery of mass graves and the disturbing levels of femicide on the Mexican border in the city of Juarez.

Another track that stands out, and will likely be a Misfits fan favorite is the final track “Death Ray.” This song starts with a creepy loop of guitar-noise and features punchy circle-pit drumming, and is reminiscent of the early ’80s Misfits hardcore scene.

The record represents a high-end production of a regular Misfits record. Only’s catchy vocal melodies and muddy yet familiar bass-lines are still alive, but they’re rendered better for modern speakers and headphones.

“The Devil’s Rain” was released in stores nationwide on Oct. 4.

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