Stars lit up in my eyes with the news. 12 years after their last LP together as T.S.O.L., the immortal Beneath the Shadows, here is singer Jack Grisham and incredible guitarist Ron Emory teaming up again and going back to where they left off. Out of sight! Actually, Emory was only sitting in on these sessions and isn't really a member of Grisham's post Tender Fury band, but his guitar is unmistakable, and The Joykiller profits from it, easily the finest release by either talent -- the T.S.O.L. reunion Live '91 LP as Grisham, Roche Emory, & Barnes aside -- since 1983. Only a few tracks reprise Beneath the Shadows' sober, mature, anguished post-punk -- "I Wanna Drink Over You" brings it all back, yes! -- and the rest takes in the more intense, breakneck days of their first self-titled EP back in '81, and to a lesser extent the gothic-punk LP released in between, Dance With Me. Don't miss the frantic slices of classic So-Cal punk "The Other," and "Monday." Grisham sounds as cool at the mic as ever, spitting out his howling, thick notes rapid-fire and on-key -- and we're certain he remains the most captivating front man in all L.A. -- and finally has some music of real edge and import to sing over, and this thing cooks from start to finish. Joykiller make the half-decent Green Day and Offspring sound like Tiny Tim and Herman's Hermits.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid