The Newest Noise for Your Listening Pleasure!| By Nicholas Senior
Whatever… This Sucks | Aug. 23 | Whoa! Records & The Mizzerables
RIYL: PBR and Old Style. Deep-dish pizza. Passive aggression.
Pick up Whatever… This Sucks HERE!
For those of us who first discovered punk while growing up in the Midwest, it will be to the band’s great credit that The Mizzerables’ stellar new album sounds exactly how we remember expertly crafted melodic punk sounding back in those less-than-stellar formative years. Middle school sucked, but Whatever… This Sucks most certainly does not.
The Chicago act aren’t afraid to say something real behind their killer hooks and bright riffs, as The Mizzerables know how to masterfully convey personal and existential frustration. The album’s punch and brash perseverance are reminiscent of peak MxPx, pushing forth a message that, while not exactly optimistic, is clearly rooted in Midwestern fortitude and values: taking “Responsibility,” letting frustrations go because “Tomorrow’s Another Day,” and finding comfort in community because “I’m OK, You’re OK.”
However, The Mizzerables’ secret weapon is vocalist and guitarist Joe Mizzi and company’s ability to craft timeless punk anthems. Seriously, Whatever… This Sucks would feel at home in just about any era from the late ’70s to now. That old-fashioned—but not backwards—attitude mixes well with a homey sensibility.
Mizzi laughs when discussing the idea of a distinctly Midwestern punk scene. “We had a conversation about how ‘Midwest punk’ is definitely a thing at band practice recently,” he says. “I’ve been thinking more recently about my life growing up in the Midwest and what the perceived difference in values is between this region and other parts of the country or world. I don’t have a great answer yet, but something definitely exists. Obviously, a lot of people blame it on having to get through the cold every year, and maybe there is something to that; it does take the commitment of being able to literally weather the storm to enjoy being here every year. I don’t find many people who disagree, from any part of the world, that summer in Chicago is a really special thing.”
“What I wanted to talk about on the record,” Mizzi continues, “was that in the real world, we all have a bunch of warts and scars—whether self-inflicted or not—and somehow, we got to just get to the next day. There are times that is not easy at all, especially living alongside this other world of online personas that completely ignores the truth of the human condition. I want my songwriting to reflect our reality.”
Thankfully for The Mizzerables, their reality is that they’re crafting some of the best melodic punk around. Whatever the opposite of sucking is, Whatever… This Sucks is that.