The Devil is dedicated to unearthing unknown, unheard, unseen, unheralded, unfamiliar or down right unbelievable bands old or new that have not yet hit the radars of the British public. If you are a new band or artist and would like to be considered for inclusion then please contact me via email or twitter.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Koreas Opportunities

From: Toronto, Canada

The Two Koreas

It's like back to the future on the blog this week. After reviewing an album from a band formed from members of a group featured on my very first post today I bring you news of LP Winner, a new EP from The Two Koreas, a Canadian band first featured on the Devil's blog in March 2007 (The Two Koreas). The new EP restates the Canadian five piece's traditional touch points of The Fall, Sonic Youth and Pavement but dispenses with much of the tongue in cheek humour that has marked their earlier works.   

The title track LP Winner is a rumbling, twitchy, post punk homage to the Fall. The heavier, darker, more angular Je Lis En Francais drops it's anchor somewhere between the ports of Sonic Youth and Bloc Party. It's not all 80s post punk though. In an unexpected change in musical direction the EP climaxes with the jangly, Poor Man's Tony Wilson Blues a track that starts off like an early Stone Roses demo and moves the quintet closer to the world of pop. 

Go Listen

Go Visit

The Two Koreas - Facebook : Website

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Under Pleasure

From: London, England

The Understudies

You'd have to have a very good memory and have been one of the first readers of the blog to remember a great band called Gifthorse. They were included in the first post ever to appear on the blog 8 years ago (presciently titled I've Started Something.......) and I still hold their Childhood Gang Reunion EP dear to my musical heart. Well the good news is that Gifthorse singer Brian is back with a new(ish) band, The Understudies (first featured on the blog 5 years ago The Apprentices) and a new album, Let Desire Guide Your Hand. The even better news is that it fulfils all the promise of the early Gifthorse songs.

The London five piece have spent years perfecting their fusion of the fey romanticism of Edwyn Collins and the young Morrissey with the bleak lyricism of Brett Anderson and the English pop sensibilities of Paul Heaton and it's paid off, beautifully. Album opener Jackie sets the tone for the rest of the album with singer Brian Bryden's unconventional, captivating vocals emitting an endearing vulnerability, like a lovelorn Collins in his Orange Juice pomp. Erika K is the kind of upbeat, soulful English pop that flowed from the Housemartins hit factory in the 80s. Everyone Deserves At Least One Summer Of Love sounds like Morrissey after a Berocca overdose while the bleak yet beautiful romanticism of Wading Birds, with lyrics referencing estuaries and dual carriageways, is one of the album's many highlights recalling the early, and best, days of Suede.

On Shutterspeed Brian hands over the vocal duties to Bree and suddenly they're transformed into a pure 60s pop group all tambourines and softly orgasmic backing vocals. I can't help thinking this is what Morrissey was aiming for, but never quite achieved, in the Smiths collaboration with Sandie Shaw. The only downside is that they haven't included a cover of the brilliant Gifthorse song Happy Daggers, one of my favourite songs from the last 10 years and a song that deserves to be heard by the widest audience possible.

Their modest name belies an ambition to place pure British pop back were it belongs, these Understudies are about to take centre stage.

Go Listen

Go Visit

The Understudie - Facebook

Go See

The Understudies
Erika K

For those of you who haven't heard Happy Daggers by one of the earlier incarnations of The Understudies singer Brian get your listening gear around this...

Happy Daggers