The heart of a pop punk fan lurks deep inside me. I absolutely love anything that makes me think of the old Lookout Records glory days. Even the post-Donnas version of the label. You know, when everything got more garage than pop punk. Electrets absolutely appeal to that version of me. Listening to Misfit is like listening to collection of songs that would have fit well on one of the old Lookout Freakout compilations.
It’s not as simple as saying “oh, look. Another Ramones aping band.” While that type of punk rock is very strongly represented on Misfit, Electrets add some other elements that really make the overall record stand out. It’s the mixture of garage, pop punk, new wave, and indie rock that makes it special to me. It’s like the band is building a Pretenders house on a Ramones foundation, and they brought in some new wave kids to decorate.
The band, as a whole, is on top of their shit. Singer/guitarist Tiff Schirz is perfect for this kind of music. There is a small Chrissie Hynde tone to her voice. Her guitar just buzzes along, and keeps everything moving. In perfect garage/pop punk style, she doesn’t let this get too out there. Everything is precise. Everything is right on the money.
One of the band’s strongest ability if the fantastic utilization of backing vocals. Stephanie Rose (bass) and Mindy Ihrke (keyboards/percussion) do great in the supporting vocal role. Adding great harmonies, and absolutely killing anything they’re on. Check that choruses on “Be Someone” and “I Can Do Better” as an example. Also, have fun having them stuck in your head all day.
Ihrke’s keyboards are one of my favorite parts of the record. They add great texture to the songs. Especially on the song “Misfit.” Without her accents, it would be a very straight forward punk rock song. The rhythm section of Rose and Andrea Cline (drums) is also a great asset to the band. Punk rock needs a strong backbone, and they fucking nail it.
Misfit is a fun record that has a throwback/retro charm to it. No wheels are being reinvented, no epiphanies are being had. But, fuck it, it’s a fun listen. Sometimes that’s all you need.