'From Where the Sun Never Shines' is clearly MISERY's greatest achievement. Well over 20 years since the bands inception and they have on their hands a masterpiece of epic proportions. This is the type of album only a legendary band can create. It is dark, bold and confident. It is simply amazing!
MISERY has always been a band that I held in high esteem and I was elated to find out they were releasing a new full length album. Immediately the album touches me in a way few albums do. Few albums are able to reach in to your being and touch your soul pulling you into their magic and making you feel like part of the experience. This album feels like me...It captures and reflects back everything about dirty, crusty punk rock that I love so much. The power, the anger, the heaviness...The no bullshit attitude that reminds me that most people just don't get it. They stand in line and consume whatever bullshit is being fed to them whether it be mass produced, cookie-cutter, shitty music or mass produced, processed animal flesh. It takes me back to that fateful day in the early 90's where I traded an RKL 7" to my friend Van for a copy of the 'Born Fed Slaughtered' 7". I still have that record. This was a time when I was starting to shed some of the 80's hardcore punk for something else that I felt was more important, something that carried a stronger message and something that had a serious edge to it. But the real magic here is that this isn't a re-release or repress or anything of the like. This is the here and now...This is a new MISERY LP to enjoy in the present and to take us forward into the apocalypse.
Much of their back catalog suffers from muddy production, but in a way that thick, mud din really became part of their sound in my ears and an essential part of what I really liked about them. With some of the stuff they did on Rodent Popsicle years back they attempted to clean that up a little but some of the power was lost at the same time. FWTSNS fixes all of that! MISERY has never sounded so fucking powerful. Every instrument cuts through without there ever being any risk of being overproduced in any manner. MISERY has unlocked the code to power without sacrifice. There is a gritty rawness that keeps this album dirty and crusty and it is soooo heavy!
The lyrics are dark and downright scary as they warn us of a future that is certain if we do not change our ways. The future is ugly and smells of decay. The sun doesn't shine there and the world is drab in color wallowing in despair, sorrow and regret. Sadly we are spiraling into this cesspool and the shocking reality is that this future is now!
Musically you know what you are getting from MISERY. They don't rush things but aren't afraid to break out into manic punk-thrash when appropriate. At times you can really hear the UK Peace punk influence amid the din of crusty mayhem. There are a plethora of great metal inspired, air guitar worthy riffs throughout this album. Gary's drums have never been more solid and powerful, the double bass rips through the barrage of noise to beat you about the ears and face mercilessly before kicking your carcass to the side for the dogs of war to gnaw on. One song in particular finds the band trading some of their patented darkness for straight up fucking evil! 'Murder Ride' sounds of a band possessed! Immediately after that song ended I had to move the needle back and hear that one again!
All in there are 14 tracks on this album including a fitting cover of NEW MODEL ARMY's 'The Hunt' and the AMEBIX classic 'ICBM'. Both songs fit nicely amongst the original material.
This is a double vinyl with the lyrics printed inside the gatefold. Just perfect for holding in front of you as sing and read along to the marbled grey vinyl. The cover art was done by Andy Lefton of WAR//PLAGUE and illustrates the bleakness, cold, and darkness of this crust-punk masterpiece.
It is with ease that I award this album 5 stars, my first 5 star review of the year and I think only the third that I have ever given out. That puts this album right there with AMEBIX – 'Sonic Mass' and last year's GHOST album as my favorite albums since we started doing the ThrashHead site. A nearly perfect album! Fail to get this album and you risk failing at life!