"The Sorrows That Refuse To Drown"

By Lord Randall

Hey, remember the late ‘80s/early ‘90s in metal? Amid the birth of death metal, ridiculous commercialization – or attempts to – of ANTHRAX, ‘TALLICA and MEGADETH, not to mention the artistic death of the once-mighty SLAYER, some pretty weird stuff was happening. Bands like NAKED SUN, KING OF KINGS and the unforgettable LAST CRACK were making quirky, left-of-center records that were released on labels as big as Geffen and Roadrunner, yet still flying under the radar of most. Speaking for myself while looking back on those times, part of what made those bands/albums so darned memorable is that we didn’t know they weren’t “normal” at the time. The genre police had yet to become the force they still are, so if we liked it, we liked it, pure and simple. 

Yet before that trio of “strange” bands made their mark, there was JESTERS OF DESTINY, a collective of sorts from the unlikely party rock scene of LA that released the memorable "Fun At The Funeral" album and "In A Nostalgic Mood" EP in ‘86/’87 respectively before being unceremoniously dropped by their Metal Blade subsidiary label…until now. Fans of the first phase of JOD’s career will be happy to know the new apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree of the past. ‘Fire In The Six Foot Hole’ and ‘Ladies Of Runyon Canyon’ recall BLUE OYSTER CULT circa "Tyranny And Mutation/Secret Treaties", while ‘The Misunderstood’ welds the band’s quirky sensibilities to  MOUNTAIN-tinged rock, and I believe that’s where the draw lies for me within JOD and "The Sorrows That Refuse To Drown" as a whole. Familiar enough for lovers of that time when hard rock began to morph into heavy metal, but shot through with a sense of the carnival funhouse, where you’re never quite sure what’s coming around the bend. ‘Peace, Blood And Charlie Cocaine’ is a momentary rhythmic diversion leading into the doomed crawl of ‘Another Fire Six Feet Deep’, which collapses into what else but ‘Happy Ending’. Reminiscent of both the aforementioned BOC and certain early psych fare, ‘Happy Ending’ puts a positive spin on what is, essentially, a dark album, albeit tongue planted firmly in cheek.

And we - as I’m sure JESTERS OF DESTINY – wouldn’t have it any other way.