This month sees Rise, the debut album from US rockers Devilstrip get its UK release and show what those over the pond and especially in Akron, Ohio know, that the trio is one thickly enjoyable hard rock roar. The ten track encounter offers an infectious and rousing proposal rich in heavy grooves and melodic tenacity upon robust rhythms; the result being rock ‘n’ roll to get eagerly close up and personal with.
Formed in the closing weeks of 2012, Devilstrip consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Marc Wasmund, bassist/vocalist Graig Lindgren, and drummer/vocalist Jimmy Gray. Drawing in inspirations from the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Live, and Foo Fighters, the threesome soon set about penning tracks built on the intent to “create something original, yet accessible”. Debut single Go lit ears first, its well-received release also the touch paper to the band’s hunger to play live, an appetite seeing them share stages with bands such as Europe, Buckcherry, Jared Weeks, Girl on Fire, Saving Abel, and L.A. Guns amongst many over time. Fair to say, Rise only reinforced the band’s emergence in the US underground scene, drawing plaudits from critics, media, and fans alike. That success is surely to be expected in the UK moving into Europe now as the Devilstrip sound makes its invitation through Rise.
Not What You Need is the first slice of bait from the album, its initial low key and atmospheric sonic coaxing a deceptive lead into the swiftly fiery and boisterous heart of the song. Riffs and rhythms are soon a choppy lure over which the potent tones of Wasmund entice as agreeably as the slim grooves and melodic tempting also exposed. It is easy to see where that Black Stone Cherry spicing comes into the band’s music in the opener alone, though it is not an overpowering essence in the broader heavy rock character of the song.
It is a thoroughly enjoyable start but quickly outshone and played by Go. From the off, flirtatious grooves and melodic charm holds ears as country rock meets grungy hard rock flavours colour the track and imagination. In no time hips twist as eagerly as those grooves and feet dance as tenaciously as rhythms, Wasmund the vocal ringleader to it all in the increasingly varied proposition. More irritable and antagonistic as it goes, the track has ears hungry for more which Including Me more than feeds with its outstanding revelry. For all the references offered as hints to the band’s sound, this track is like Terrorvision at their inventive best; a tone and spicing which does the song no harm at all. Across Rise, there are many familiar scents and essences of bands and supposed influences yet, as here, they only add to the nature and infectious weight of the album.
Both the swinging temptress that is Are You Ready and the punkish Kill The Headlights keep album and ears in thick unity, the first an insatiable flirtation of grooves and anthemic theatre whilst the second stomps and swaggers around one delicious throaty bassline. Its punk n’ roll flavoured canter come prowl is a lively affair with the right mix of devilment and intimidation to have feet leaping and emotions cornered in preparation for the resourceful confrontation of To The Enemy. A great steely bassline opens things up, its irresistible bait soon joined by sonic flames and stabbing beats before all three collude in a predatory courting of ears. Things relax a smidgeon as the vocals reflect the song’s lyrical heart but always there is a volatile atmosphere to sound and voice sparking feistier evocative eruptions of emotion and energy.
The crunchy presence and emotive reflection of Ugly comes next, its pleasing if slightly unadventurous offering allowing no lessening of attention, as neither does Light Up The Room straight after. Again there is a punk hue to the air of the subsequent power ballad spiced encounter, more essences showing the flavoursome and varied songwriting of the band before Love, Hate, Die backs all thoughts with its potent croon and melody soaked intensity. Like its predecessor and indeed the following She Said, there are plenty of aggressive turns within scenery draped in melodic charm and prone to angst fuelled roars, and as the other pair, plenty to be captivated by. With She Said enjoying a great tempestuous climate, the trio conclude Rise in fine style, though for personal tastes, the album is at its loftiest in the first half dozen tracks where they seem to have much more character to their imagination and devilry.
Nevertheless Rise is a gripping slab of hard rock from a band we can only hope to hear and see more of this side of the Atlantic from hereon in.
Rise is released in the UK on January 22nd Through All Stores.
Pete RingMaster 22/01/2916
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/