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JuiceheaD – How To Sail A Sinking Ship

JuiceheaD, How To Sail A Sinking Ship

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

CHICAGO punk rockers JuiceheaD drop their mighty How To Sail A Sinking Ship with 20 tracks and several high profile collaborations.

But while a reminder of how potent raw punk energy can be, especially if you cut your teeth to early Green Day, there’s also a repetitive quality to proceedings that screams out for a little more diversity.

And that’s a shame given that on the few times they do decide to get adventurous, JuiceheaD show they that they might be able to emulate the later success of Green Day in broadening their sound to offer global mainstream appeal.

For the most part, though, the album hits you with one angry, spiky, riff-driven track after another – some of which standout, others which blur into one. Put across 20 songs, however, it’s a long haul at times.

And in that we’re talking about songs such as Take You Home, which chugs along with a one-note sentiment which, again, hint at a little more life and a total lack of invention. The guitars, for instance, offer the possibility of veering into a post-Tarantino style sound on occasion, before coming back to the hardcore punk style of the majority of the album. Lyrically, it suffers from tunnel vision with the ‘let me take you home’ central lyric being repeated over and over and over again.

In contrast, JuiceheaD deliver a fuller, richer and much more rewarding sound when they mix it up a little, as on Black Roses, which finds Melora Creager (of Nirvana, Rasputina fame) guesting on cello for the punk goth ballad that ensues.

The Punk Pipers (consisting of NYC’s firefighters) lend a traditional bagpipe flavour to the melodic track When I Fall From Grace, which marks another pleasing departure and again offers too rare evidence of greater maturity and scope.

American Dream, meanwhile, maintains a nice sense of melody in among the punk rock riffs, while offering a statement of intent to the disenchanted youth that so often embrace the punk movement. It’s full of renegade tendencies but pleasingly delivered in a way that makes it kind of a nice counterpart to Green Day’s American Idiot.

Alas, such moments are in short supply, with the rule of thumb being the generic, and ultimately underwhelming, likes of Kiss Your Pretty Ass Goodbye, Deadly Nightshade, Pissing In The Wind and Rotting From The Inside setting the agenda.

Download picks: Black Roses, When I Fall From Grace

Track listing:

  1. Better Days
  2. Rotting From The Inside
  3. Death of Democracy
  4. Lorraine
  5. Deadly Nightshade
  6. A Fire That Always Burns
  7. No Good Dead
  8. Kiss Your Pretty Ass Goodbye
  9. Black Roses
  10. How To Sail A Sinking Ship
  11. American Dream
  12. When I Fall From Grace
  13. Disenchanted Youth
  14. No Regrets
  15. Pissing In The Wind
  16. Take You Home
  17. Rick James
  18. Until We Meet Again
  19. Sail On
  20. Untitled