Jasion Savio

Jerry Only – Anti-Hero

After decades of being The Misfits’ bass player and torch bearer, Jerry Only has released Anti-hero, his first solo album. The Misfits’ work in the studio over the past decade or so has featured Only on lead vocals as well as bass, so those were also kind of Jerry Only solo projects in a way. But here he has gone without The Misfits moniker, freeing himself up to do whatever he wants.

And what does he do?

He sings about rotting flesh, zombies, devil dealings, death and terror, making it another day at the office for Mr. Only. However, if you listen closely enough, he does spread his bat wings, pushing the traditional Misfits sound.

“One Cell from You” breathes more than you would expect while still keeping that familiar Misfits tempo and, as with “Fear the Walking Dead,” room is given for a guitar solo, making these more rock than punk songs. The opening to “Fear the Walking Dead”—a creepy, slinking piano melody– gives instant Halloween feels and deserves a mention. “Taboo” is a fun retro bop and “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” is another that has shades of that old-school 50’s vibe the Misfits are known for. Joining Only is Dave Lombardo on drums (Slayer) and Rob Caggiano on guitar (Anthrax, Volbeat). Only can hold his own for the most part when it comes to vocals, although he doesn’t necessarily elevate the songs like former Misfits singers could.

At the end of “Snake Eyes” Only warns: “Don’t gamble with the devil, my son. He might just take your soul.” Given the Misfits complicated past, Anti-hero seems to confuse it just a little bit more. It has been stated on the Misfits website that this release will not get in the way of any future Misfits shows, but only time will tell. It shouldn’t. Hearing more music from Only and any incarnation of the Misfits is always welcome, and while many might balk at Only putting his own name on the album cover, I say just let him play. As far as we know, Danzig isn’t making an attempt to contribute. 

For more, visit: misfits.com 

This Is Why – Paramore

Paramore is back with This is Why, a showcase of sorts for the group from Tennessee that continues to write relatable and catchy music. Singer Hayley Williams is on-point with her lyrics, and the duo of guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro is as strong as ever with their stop-and-go melodies and penchant for detail.

The single “This is Why” is classic Paramore with an upbeat, ear-worm twist and raucous chorus. It’s also—as with many other songs on this album—something you’ll probably agree with. While Hayley sings about her reasoning for not wanting to leave her house in “This is Why” and the unwanted opinions from others, she also tackles the daily disgust of what we see in the news in “The News.” The focus of her lyrics becomes more personal with the neo-disco rock of “Big Man, Little Dignity,” in which Williams doesn’t hold back her disgust toward a particular someone. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t critical of herself, either. Take “You First,” when she admits to feeding her demons and bad habits even though she knows she shouldn’t, and “Running Out of Time,” where she wonders if the reason why she doesn’t follow through on any of her plans for others is because she’s “just a selfish prick/No regard.” The ballad “Liar” is the best of all the songs here and carries the most emotion to it as Williams comes to accept a love she had been denying when she sings, “Love is not any easy thing to admit/But I’m not ashamed of it/Love is not a weakening if you feel it rushing in/Don’t be ashamed of it.”

Because of the honesty and sincerity in Williams’ lyrics—and the creativity of the music itself that perfectly complements them—This is Why is a must-listen and one of the strongest releases to hit shelves (and streaming services) in recent memory. 

For more, visit: Paramore.net