Who is this mysterious band? They don’t really play live but have been in existence for ten years. Finally they have put their demented work to wax.
I’ve been patiently waiting for this for a few years now and it’s worth the wait.
All I’ve heard is some online chatter, some clips on an old myspace page and a few live videos from the late 2000s on youtube. Why the excitement? Ben Wallers is one of the most compelling songwriters around, and the main man behind The Country Teasers and The Rebel. A sort of a cult figure, Wallers has a small yet dedicated fanbase which he spews with his rather abnormal yet fitting social commentary. As with The Rebel, the London based The Devil also includes his wife Sophie Politowicz on drums. This particular project features James Sedwards from the band Nought bringing a new sound to the mix. Succumbing to fan pressure, this is (their first and possibly last?) release since their formation in 2003.
This is Wallers most “rock” sounding record in some time.
I can’t really say a lot of negative things about this record but I feel it’s missing the favorite “Autumn Shides” and some of the most interesting songs from the youtube live performances. Maybe they were scrapped over the years, who knows. There’s minimal amount of vocals here, but when they surface they are often pitch shifted; still we are left with a scorcher of a record. The humor of Wallers other work, replaced with a gloomier and colder sound.
“My First Waltz” is a massive instrumental opening track; “Silent Roar” follows in a more sing-along style. Things slow down on “Agatha Christie”, reminiscent of The Rebel, with a haunting guitar solo over the drums and keyboard melody. The devilish vocal sound bring this track down a dark path.
“The Throne” repeats a guitar riff with an echoing voice of, “What is it? It’s a chair.”
“Michael and Jean” follows with a no-wave sound with more experimental vocal effects.
“Girls Want You” is a bluesy Kool Keith cover. (Wallers being a huge Kool Keith fan, this isn’t a surprising choice) The record ends with the manic ten minute jam “So Cool”.
The Devil is part psych, art-rock, prog, kraut, punk, blues, mixed together by three talented musicians and is one of the more interesting Wallers releases of late. The Devil does not disappoint.
Listen and purchase below: