This is music for the misfits, for the ne’er-do-wells, for the testosterone-poisoned ex-youths of Generation-X, the aging spawn of the baby-boomers, who are hurtling towards death in slow motion, curled up in a fetal position, tumbling feet-over-head in a dizzying somersault, inducing nausea and dread in all that witness the grim plight of the past-prime once-macho man, forcing our wincing gaze upon a man dancing like no one is watching, which, I have been told, is something no one should have to ever see. It’s the sorrowful decline of a mediocre generation.
And the voice, oh the voice! It is the guttural sounds of a sloppy-drunk hobo crooning into a smoldering Galaxy Note 7 in a filthy Sunoco restroom located somewhere off the Hoboken exit of the Jersey Turnpike.
Next time you are in Hoboken, search out the Sunoco station. Go to the restroom, open the stall, and just stand there. Picture Mishka sitting, perched on the edge of the toilet, guitar slung around his neck, the strap slowly choking him from behind, sitting there like a beaten-down monkey, the sheer weight of the dreary music heavy upon Mishka’s back, trying to take him down.
But Mishka croons on, relentless, determined, inspired by a combination of genius and rebel-without-a-cause joie-de-vivre, singing a song he has sung over a thousand times to tens of thousands of drunks, inspiring a few, via the apprehension of this terrifying cautionary tale, into sobriety, and the rest to suicide, either by a pistol to the temple, or by the slow, steady, drip-drip-drip of alcoholism.
Like a fifth of Smirnoff, Mishka’s music soaks into your body and permeates your soul. Listen to this song again. And again. Keep listening and eventually, you too can feel like an alcoholic.
Three-and-a-half Stars — ***1/2
Kurt Edward Biehl ©2017, 2018