Friday, November 6, 2020

Full Length Review: The Negans "Somethang to Fear" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: The Negans
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: USA
Genre: Horror punk
Full Length: Somethang to Fear
Format: Digital album, CD
Label: Independent
Release date: October 30, 2020
Two years after their debut single “Shut This Shit Down” and EP “Take It Like a Champ”, The Negans unveil their first ever full length “Somethang to Fear”. A full length they recorded themselves and promoted on their social media outlets prior to its release, following the DIY ethic without label backing. If you missed my review of their EP, The Negans have a concept based on Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villain you love to hate on The Walking Dead.
For a band recording, self-releasing and promoting all their work, they’re ready to contend with established professionals and newer acts. They have big shoes to fill considering their native Boston has been a punk stronghold for many years. The city has produced the likes of SSD, Gang Green, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Slapshot, Lemonheads and Dropkick Murphys. But The Negans’ Walking Dead-based concept is hitting a chord with horror punk fans and word is spreading.
The songwriting, musicianship, production and even the cover art is improved from their material of two years ago. With the outset of “Die By the Bat” it’s apparent this album was recorded with a higher degree of grit and sludge. The band seems to be working harder to bash your brains in, taking a greater amount of time to arrange their songs, and they don’t even need Lucille to have this impact on you. The songs are executed in such a free form, energizing way you can’t help but groove on them.
Jimi Halfdead and Mark Zero’s guitars on “Rick’s A Prick,” “Lizzie’s Lament,” “Murderous Murder,” “Bad Ass,” “Negan’s Way” and “Iron (To The Face)” sound designed to go over with audiences in seedy, intimate clubs, right down to the announcement of a broken string (while every song is persuasive and catchy those are personal favorites). The Rev and Joe Z are given more emphasis as the rhythm section and more of a chance to show how important they are to the band’s sound.
Again, as before, Halfdead captures Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s menace as Negan on The Walking Dead as well as the sense of humor he brings to the character. It’s interesting to note that Negan’s character in the Walking Dead graphic series was based on Henry Rollins who reportedly auditioned for the role in the long running AMC series. But Halfdead’s voice is more remindful of Glenn Danzig; this is where much of their similarities to the Misfits come in. Also check out their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.”
“Somethang to Fear” is generally a fun album if you love horror, and fans can make a game of catching the Walking Dead and zombie horror references. The Saviors may be over according to Rick Grimes but The Negans will certainly plow through the apocalypse and create a new order. I’m talking scorched earth, you dicks! -Dave Wolff

Jimi Halfdead: Vocals, rhythm guitar
Mark Zero: Lead guitar
The Rev: Bass
Joe Z: Drums

Track list:
1. Die by the Bat
2. Rick's a Prick
3. Lizzie's Lament
4. Murderous Murder
5. Badass
6. Infected Fiesta
7. Negan's Way
8. Armageddon Waves
9. The Ghost of Mr. Jones
10. Iron (To the Face)
11. Folsom Prison Blues
12. Shut This Shit Down

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