Sick Thoughts Heaven is No Fun LP

Drew Owen has long since proven himself as one of the best songwriters of die-hard, old school rock‘n’roll. With this newest LP, he hasn’t just one-upped himself, he’s raised the bar on the whole fucking game. This record is eclectic, like a high-speed tour through everything that makes punk and rock music important to this day in under 30 minutes. From the straight-ahead nihilism of the opener “I Hate You,” through the anthemically evil “Mother, I Love Satan,” Owen demonstrates a mastery of genre and focus of vision that just hits in your bones. My personal favorite track, “EMP,” is the most evil blast of punk to hit my spine in years. It tips its hat to the mutoid malevolence of SACCHARINE TRUST’s Paganicons, while dragging it into the horrible pre-apocalypse we currently live in. I always thought of SICK THOUGHTS’ self-titled record as the gold standard of sneering, evil rock‘n’roll, but this unlucky collection of thirteen cuts handily clears that record. We’re in a new age of evil punk, and there’s even the almost tear-inducing “Someone I Can Talk To” love song(?) to offer a welcome depth to the whole affair. It’s a sort of victory lap within a triumphant record that belongs in the canon of great fucking rock records.