In the years that have followed, while CKY, after trialing new vocalists, decided to settle on their current 3-piece formation (Consisting of Chad I Ginsberg, Jess Margera and a returning Matt Deis) Deron Miller opted to go it alone, dabbling in several projects during the period. Initially in a dispute over the rights of CKY, he released the solo album “Acoustified!” which, as you can probably guess was an acoustic medley of previous works…there was the return of his prior band FOREIGN OBJECTS who resurfaced for a new album in 2015…and then we have this; 96 BITTER BEINGS. Not only a jab at arguably one of CKY’s biggest tracks itself…but the album has been called “Camp Pain”…which, mistake me if I’m wrong, is ironically similar in theme to Camp Kill Yourself? I did say things were bitter right? Let’s see what Deron (Backed by new band members Kenneth Hunter, Shaun Luera and Tim Luera) has come up with…
The album opens up with “Try It Again” and it’s both an intro AND a skit…the idea that they’ve spent ages writing and practicing only for the track to sound like absolute shit essentially; out of tune without any sense of cohesive rhythm, it’s a rib on themselves basically as it’s been a while since we’ve had any new recorded material…they’re a bit rusty. First track proper however "Still Unstable, Still At Large" charges right at you with a serious sounding, deep, chugging albeit sluggish guitar riff, before we’re greeted with the traditional, sweet synths and moogs that so characterised CKY’s original music. Deron plays and writes with such a distinct style, this brings back so many memories…and the nostalgia doesn’t stop there.
Despite being only 10 tracks long in total, it manages to cram in a fair couple of highlight tracks…in particular “The Whipping Hands” which sounds like it could have been taken right out of the recording sessions from “Carver City”. It’s got a great rhythm and an infectious bass-heavy groove, playing out nicely. “Where Were You?” offers a more relaxed, melodic track, with a primarily down-tempo approach but a chorus that harks back to the style of “An Answer Can Be Found”…before the album ultimately ends with “December Higher Power”, a traditionally slower ballad-esque piece to close proceedings, a staple of past CKY works. Some tracks are a little questionable mind you…”Megadextria” is just a recycled track from the last Foreign Objects record, “Cavalcade Of Perversion” is 90% instrumental and 10% what the fuck? Speaking of, there’s a cover of MICHAEL JACKSON’s “Beat It” thrown in for good measure…I’m not even joking. I mean they pull it off quite well but, seriously…why?!
Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s not a perfect album by any means, but it’s damn impossible to not enjoy this. Deron has such a creative flair for solid guitar riffs and an iconic sound that’s been missed…CKY are doing fine right now without him don’t get me wrong, and I’m not about to wish for a reunion, that ship sailed, but, I will just state how glad I am to have Deron back releasing music again. There may be 96 bitter beings but, I’m not one of them…for I am simply…Bernadette Nere.