When the opening track on an album starts with the line ‘my 6th grade science teacher had chicken nugget teeth’, you know you’re in for something different. Derek Zanetti aka The Homeless Gospel Choir found a way to blend his dark sense of humor with his punk roots and incredibly honest lyrics. He’s as quick to make fun of his own insecurities in songs like “Depression” and “Sometimes” as he is to point out that we will all be okay in the end and that it’s okay to be different (“Normal”).
Along the way he gets a little help from Frank Turner (“Don’t Know”) and Frank Iero (“Crazy”), who each contribute guest vocals. Both songs deal with pretty much the same thing, but musically they couldn’t be more different. One is mellow while the latter is like a bundled up ball of energy. Both are pretty good though. As is every other song on this album.
If you’re into Jeff Rosenstock, you should probably do yourself a favor and check out The Homeless Gospel Choir. Both artists constantly leave you guessing what will be up next, a rebel-rousing anthem like “1983” or an incredibly honest, completely disarming song like “Sometimes”. No matter what happens next though, you just know it’s going to be good and that in the end we will be okay.