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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Devil-City-Angels-Review-2015

DEVIL CITY ANGELS - ALBUM REVIEW

CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS | Release Date: September 11 2015

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I really wanted to like this album, and after hearing so much about it I was convinced it would be something special, but you don’t always get what you expect, and sometimes that’s down to you and your expectations and not the band. I guess expected Devil City Angels to be edgier, I expected the record to be rawer, and after seeing Brandon Flowers live fronting the rest of Poison in Miami recently I guess I also expected him to offer a little more as a singer in the studio than he had on stage that night… Now first of all let me say that just because it’s not what I thought it said on the box that it isn’t worth a listen – it most certainly is…


Of course the main players here all have pedigree: Tracii Guns drove L.A. Guns, Rikki Rocket gave the backbone to Poison, and Rudy Sarzo, who has been in so many great bands, is a great player. When you add to that the talents of Brandon Gibbs, who no one seems to have a bad word for, and you have a band that obviously get along well and enjoy each other’s company. And here they have created a very smooth and defined sound.  


Like a lot of tracks on the album opener ‘Numb’ sports a nice riff, a liquid and nicely groovy backline and some nicely placed vocals. Like a lot of songs on the album though it seems to lack real edge and fire, there’s just something subdued about the album and you can’t help feel that it centres around the competent and smooth yet oddly passionless vocals. If you can put that aside though, and I’m sure most listeners will the album does have some decent tunes.


‘All My People’ comes out swinging similarly to the opener but feels more like Billy Squier meets Extreme  with a mid-section that veers into almost a snatch from Aerosmith’s Ragdoll, again it’s pretty smooth and the guitars are just as subdued, though you can’t help humming along. The poppy-rock of ‘Boneyard’ is similarly satisfying and sees Gibbs open up a little making you suspect he has more in reserve. In fact on the slower ‘Goodbye Forever’ he does show a little more, but it’s still all so precise and clean and polished to really Rock.


OK so maybe I was expecting the next big thing and expecting a certain sound. At its heart really I guess this is an album designed for the mainstream, its catchy songs made to sing along to, made to be played on the radio; with just enough of everything to please Rock fans and just little enough overt influences to push it one way or the other.


There are exceptions though: songs like ‘All I Need’ stand out mainly because they are overtly pop; whilst songs like closer ‘Bad Decisions’ do attempt to Rock out more. I actually really dislike the former and see the latter as perhaps the best track here but there you go, personal preference again.  


I know the majority of people will love this album and you can’t fault the compositions much, I just have reservations about the execution. As usual I’m probably wrong! But you tell it like it is!

 

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


 

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