The devil may have moved on, but his music remains forever
Having already released three critically acclaimed independent E.P.’s (2007’s Volume I and Volume II and 2008’s Volume III), taking out the award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Artist at 2009’s WAMI (West Australian Music Industry) awards, and attracting plenty of high praise for their shows alongside Monster Magnet, Mondo Generator, Winnebago Deal, Shihad and Clutch, Perth (Western Australia) based outfit The Devil Rides Out certainly haven’t wasted any of their short four years together.
Now with the release of their debut full-length album The Heart & The Crown finally upon us, it’s clear that the four piece act (comprising ex-HeadShot/iNFeCTeD vocalist Joe Kapiteyn, ex-Thumb guitarist/backing vocalist Andrew Ewing, ex-Thumb bassist/backing vocalist Brendan Ewing and ex-Downer drummer Royce Uyen) have well and truly earned their immense reputation as one of the west’s best newcomers in recent years.
Sound wise, The Devil Rides Out combines a mix of dirty rock ‘n’ roll, stoner rock and heavy blues, with comparisons to Queens of the Stone Age, Beasts of Bourbon, Clutch and Kyuss evident throughout the thirteen tracks on The Heart & The Crown.
The opening track Watch It Burn is a huge rocking effort, with the driving guitars and the low slung bass evoking a heavy stoner vibe, while the vocals cleverly steer the song towards a more dirty/primitive rock direction, which gives the band a sound that’s not only their own, but free of the clichés that most fall into when attempting to fuse the two genres.
The fast paced first single Broken White Line is an energetic explosion of huge riffs and chanting sing-a-long choruses, while the slower blues based Hard Love is quite possibly the best thing Tex Perkins never got around to recording himself.
From here, the quality of the band’s material never falls below the standard set early in the album, with the grooving Right Lane Man, the loose title track The Heart & The Crown (a track where Kapiteyn puts in a great Tom Waits-like performance), the power of Inheritance, the quirkiness of Gentlemen Prefer Bombs and the catchy The New Idle (which boasts some of my favourite lyrics on the album) ensuring that while the rock does change direction often, it never officially stops.
While The Heart & The Crown is well and truly deserving of all its high praise, the album isn’t without one problem, and that is that it is a couple of tracks too long. Both Mean Season and Lost Town do tend to get a little lost towards the end, which is a shame given how great the tracks in-between the pair (Ain’t No Music in the Money and I Keep Secrets) are. But given it’s a small issue, overall, The Devil Rides Out have delivered a great debut full-length effort.
(Impedance Records/Stomp Entertainment)