With a couple of months left in 2022, Sick Thoughts enters the race as a favorite for punk record of the year. In the mid ’10s, Sick Thoughts was one of the most prolific punk bands around, but the act has been relatively quiet in recent years. Heaven Is No Fun is a glorious return to the exciting songwriting of Drew Owen. His songs are still aggressive, fast, full of memorable guitar riffs and attitude. Owen piles on hit after hit with the spontaneity of the finest punk around on Heaven Is No Fun. At the same time, the record shows the most accessible side of Sick Thoughts yet. The production is still very much punk, but the roughest edges have received some polishing. As such, I expect Heaven Is No Fun to open some new ears to the appeal of Sick Thoughts.
This record is so much fun. Songs like I Hate You, Hole In The Wall, Smash The Mirror, and No Life No Life offer that instant jolt of energy of discovering punk for the first time. It makes you wonder, can loud music simultaneously be this fast, this aggressive and this catchy? Sick Thoughts make it sound like this never even was a point of discussion. There are also some proto punk anthems (Mother, I Love Satan and Rich Kid) that offer a change of pace and some welcome variety on the record. And then there are the sleazy glam influences that pop up every now and then, which I love.
Heaven Is No Fun is out now through Total Punk Records. It’s going straight to the collection.