Described as a ‘surfabilly band which fuses punk rock beats, psychobilly bass, and surf guitar’ it is easy to go slightly astray with expectations over US rockers Demoni and their much more flavoursome sound. Certainly those essences make up the core of the band’s sound as evidenced on their outstanding album Day of Demoni which recently had its UK released via British cassette/digital label Graveyard Calling, but as the nine track rampage infests ears and ignites emotions there is plenty more to the band’s alchemy of invention. At times there is a hard rock fury at work, and in other moments a seventies glam teasing at play, whilst throughout there is a pungent whiff of fifties honesty to it all. Day of Demoni is a thrilling onslaught which dares to be just that little bit different in the world of psychobilly whilst embracing the seeds of the genre with a full ardour and revelry.
The Boise, Idaho trio take inspirations from the likes of Cramps, Dick Dale, Mad Sin, and Misfits to their adrenaline powered and relentlessly voracious sound. An early self-titled demo in 2008 seemed to draw strong attention but it was with their albums Dawn of Demoni a year later and Day of Demoni which was released in 2012 that a spotlight really hit the band. It was an interest which has only been enhanced by the band live which has seen them play shows with the likes of Koffin Kats, Chop Tops, Three Bad Jacks, Stellar Corpses, The Hedcat, Sawyer Family, The Recently Deceased, and The Rocketz. Their new UK release of Day of Demoni sees the five songs which appeared on the US version joined by one originally found on the first album and another pair from the band’s Surf City of the Dead release, as well as one more track. Together they combine to make one of the most exhaustingly enjoyable encounters to hit the UK shores this year.
From first track And Now the Screaming Starts, band and release has the imagination bound and ears hungry. It opens with a sonic squeal before launching into a thunderous charge spiked with spicy twangs of warped grooving. Riffs and rhythms are in top gear within seconds, their eagerness almost ravenous as they swiftly build an anthemic temptation upon which the smooth delivery of vocals lay perfectly. The click of drum stick wood on rims is irresistible whilst the brawling attitude of the guitar is contagious persuasion, but it is the unpredictable slides of grooves and caustic melodies which turns the outstanding song into a classic.
Its glory is followed by the instrumental Black Lagoon, its stomp speared by a hook which is fifties seeded but coming with a seventies air. That initial temptation is soon evolved into a sultry surf rock enticement though both lures switch and entwine across the rest of the compelling track. Like a sonic stroll across a blood soaked beach beneath a sinister moon, the track has the imagination casting its tales whilst feet still find no respite from the involvement inspired by its predecessor. The magnetism of the song is intensified in the exceptional They Crawl, another virulent surge of riffs and rugged enterprise equipped with a cowpunk lilt and riotous hard rock intent. The song is as persistent as the protagonists in its lyrics, scampering relentlessly with tireless rhythmic feet and feisty sonic tenacity. Sparking thoughts of Koffin Kats and Tiger Army, the track is another peak to the album and makes one wonder why the band has not been recognised over here before.
Scared to Death is no slouch in setting ears and passions ablaze either, it’s almost smouldering sonic presence and rhythmic control, certainly compared to the previous song, a transfixing instrumental narrative providing another surf spawned slice of heated suggestiveness. Its sultry presence makes way for the fiery and robust harrying of the imagination unleashed by Night of the Creeps. Thumping heavy rock beats courted by a caustic punk abrasing of riffs offer a contagious tempting from which vocals and acidic melodies surge with eagerness. Again a heavier rock aggression adds to the flavouring whilst at times there is a softer melodic catchiness which merges easily with the strenuous suasion of the song. You can almost call it as psychobilly pop punk.
Both No Pain No Gein and Beware the Moon bring another twist to the album and satisfaction, the first akin to Turbonegro with its punk rock rapacity but also you can hear tinges of Nekromantix and The Ramones in its rowdy enterprise. With the bass a delicious standout texture and voice to the song, it is an insatiable stomp swiftly matched in sweaty contagion and voracious energy by its successor. There is an immediate sense of The Dickies to the punk side of this song whilst its expansive psychobilly design offers up suggestions of Mad Sin and a little of Rezurex. It is a flaming beast of a track and another to squeeze out a little more lustful acclaim for the release.
The album uncages a final two slabs of thick persuasion through first of all the instrumental scourge of blistering riffs and niggling grooves that is Session 9 and lastly Die! Die! Die!, which is maybe an instrumental too many on the album but such its exciting climate and creative blaze it is impossible not to greedily devour its presence. They make enthralling climaxes to a ridiculously addictive release, which itself sets Demoni as a thrilling new protagonist for British psychobilly appetites.
Day of Demoni is available via Graveyard Calling @ http://graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/album/day-of-demoni digitally and on very Ltd Ed blood-red cassette.
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