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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Hell Demonio
Greatest Hits
Robotradio Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


January 26, 2006
This band is a joke. But luckily, it's a good one. They kind of confirm my long held suspicion that the best musicians are those who don't take themselves too seriously. Take Ween or The Butthole Surfers, for example. OK, maybe I shouldn't go that far. But hey, it's rock n' roll and I like it, when played loud and vicariously. In a time when rock indeed feels locked into mainstream circuitry (Franz Ferdinand, Blood Brothers, etc.), Hell Demonio try to hammer round guitar riffs into square holes, and somehow they get them to work.

Punk rockers, with a tendency to accelerate the metal element in their music, still strike a nerve with me. And I know they shouldn't, especially when my cup of tea goes way beyond the jazz/hip-hop/downtempo intersection. But from "Metal Maximizer" to "The Beamy Nihilistic Sword", this 15-minute EP adds a hell lot of confusion to the grotesque debacle which the rock scene has turned into. Coming from the unsuspected Verona, in Italy, Hell Demonio scratches the dirt off your fingernails by tossing out piercing guitar shards, here and there adorned with a resounding (and hilarious) cowbell.

Not the most appropriate record to sit crosslegged in the hoods with, Greatest Hits is nevertheless a heavyweight cluster that mixes haired riffage with a drum kit just as powerful (but not as inventive) as Dave Grohl's. "Darwin and Me" is an ultra heavy cut whose sonic arteries seem to have hardened terminally, and put the ensemble next to others that have coloured my darkest days - notably The Black Halos, Vue, and even Mudhoney. Going through these songs is therefore like watching a dream whose plot takes you backwards to the time when your face used to be just itchy spots.

Numbers like "Reagans n' Roses" or "Ass of Base" have anti-wrinkle benefits not to be dismissed, and represent a bizarre turn of events for someone whose over caffeinated mornings are the rule, not the exception. In fact, all these tracks rank high on the Impress Your Friends By Stealing An Old Lady front, but I wouldn't go as far as hosting the canonisation of Hell Demonio as the next rock saviors.

Besides, I believe these guys (all named after the band name itself - Hello Demonio n.1 Guitar, … n.2 Bass, … n.3 Voice, … n.4 Drums, and … n.5 Black Beauty Cowbell) are the sort of people who cared not a jot that their musical source dried out tomorrow. And you've got to love the decompressed element to their sound! It's so difficult to sound simple, but they end up doing just that. I respect it.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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