Sick Thoughts - Heaven Is No Fun Music Album Reviews

Sick Thoughts - Heaven Is No Fun Music Album Reviews
The New Orleans-based punk artist crafts broad caricatures of chaos and destruction with giddy hooks, flashy musicianship, and self-mythologizing humor.

Throughout his recording tenure as Sick Thoughts, Drew Owen has become a trusted craftsman of rabid, gleeful songs about violence. The Baltimore-raised, New Orleans-based one-man band is responsible for the all-time best punk song about chainsaws, and there are plenty of those. When he was an explosive short-haired teenager screaming for vengeance and blood on a hot streak of scrappy lo-fi garage punk 7-inches, Sick Thoughts had the captivating volatility of a firework accidents YouTube compilation. Heaven Is No Fun arrives after roughly a decade of Owen writing and recording this deep well of scuzz: He’s now a long-haired 25-year-old who doesn’t scream on record quite as much as he used to, but when he joyously sings that he hates you and is going to feed your severed nose to his fish, it’s clear that his overall formula is largely unchanged.

Heaven Is No Fun sits squarely in Owen’s creative comfort zone—broad caricatures of chaos and destruction with hooks that sound borderline giddy. Recorded at his home in New Orleans around the time Hurricane Ida raged, the music almost exclusively oozes sleaze and contempt. As his deep, disconcertingly casual voice promises that we’re all imminently going to suffer on “Horrible Death,” his guitar work is fast and ramshackle. For a clear sign of his progression as a musician, listen to the high flying hammer-on guitar solo at the outset of “Hole in the Wall”—his playing feels flashy and ambitious, a show-off ’70s hard rock performance that feels like completely new territory for a Sick Thoughts record. The song transitions quickly from its classic rock radio trappings to a brand of distorted and unsettling New Orleans power chord punk befitting a sticky, smoke-filled basement show. Owen’s words are clipped and staccato as he runs through the beats of a relationship-ending blowout argument, his catchy power-pop hook contrasting with his chorus about going full Adam Driver on his drywall.

The earworms and guitar solos do plenty of work to make all this misery sound like a blast, but the true joy of Owen’s records comes from how funny he can be. The title of the album is taken from a line in “Mother, I Love Satan,” an anti-hymn that defines the character behind this record’s fury. If Owen’s only point was “I’m never going back to church,” he’d sound like pretty much any god-fearing teenager who doesn’t want to wake up early on a weekend. Instead, Owen goes out of his way to ignite a new satanic panic as he talks shit about Sunday school, calls priests stupid, swears that he loves the devil, and shouts “I wanna go to hell!” Second to the Lord’s followers on his enemies list is an unnamed condescending “Rich Kid.” In the album’s closing moments, Owen drains this asshole’s bank account while delighting in their affluent tears. It’s not even just that these moments elicit laughter—Owen is growing the Sick Thoughts mythology on some comic book, professional wrestling, or action movie sequel shit.

His songs aren’t especially long, so when Owen calls for an E.M.P. attack in a tight 96 seconds, his belligerent young man gimmick never has much of a chance to wear thin. “Submachine Love” is one of the longest and most theatrical tracks, and it’s the rare point where the whole operation sags a bit. The high register chorus vocals are over-the-top ’70s bro metal vocals, reaching for the guitar-god rafters. It’s a police chase through the desert and an apparent breakup metaphor. For a moment, the album buckles just a bit under the weight of this one song’s aesthetic excesses.

Owen’s best instincts are his most straightforward, like how he boils down his feelings on the power-pop banger “No Life No Life”: “I really don’t know what I’m gonna do but I know it ain’t with you.” His cover of “Someone I Can Talk To” by UK punks the Limps follows this template. It’s an unambiguous plea for companionship, and it’s a nice reprieve from all the demolition. Whether Owen’s out here trying to steal a rich kid’s debit card, smash everything in sight, work through his emotions, or accept Satan into his heart, Heaven Is No Fun thrives when his chaotic hostility cuts straight to the point.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Sick Thoughts - Heaven Is No Fun Music Album Reviews Sick Thoughts - Heaven Is No Fun Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 28, 2022 Rating: 5


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