Hailing from Melbourne, artist Rich Davies and his band The Devil’s Union have released their atmospheric, moody and enjoyable debut LP.
Encompassing everything from folk music to white noise/wall of sound feedback and gothic overtones of band such as The Velvet Underground and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, this is an uncompromising listen from a band who are determined to do things their own way.
Tracks such as “Hear This Violence” and “Buy Me A Pony” are great illustrations of what Davies and his band are striving for with their sense of sound and identity. “Pony”, especially, is a great example of what makes this band interesting, with the sonic loud/quiet/loud dynamic being deployed in quite a powerful way, almost like a threat of violence on a musical level.
Other great tracks on this album include the affecting “Black Heart & Pink Lemonade/A Blood Red Waltz” which reminds me one of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Murder Ballads” album, with it’s violent and macabre narrative drive, as well its beautiful use of piano and other sonic atmospherics, particularly violin.
“Heavy Red”, “Christian For The Image”, “Baby Cried Wolf” and “Bingo Caller’s Blues” are also rather striking tracks that feature on this debut release from Davies and his band.
If there is any criticism to be made of this release, it is that it does, at times, sound very in debt to what has inspired it. What makes it work is the conviction and sense of its own identity and being that is at work on this debut release.
This is a very good listen from a talented artist. One looks forward to where the future will take him and his band.
– Neil Evans.