Demon's Claws CD review [Dead Canary]

Music Reviews
Demon's Claws CD review [Dead Canary]
Feb 1, 2005, 18:25


Punk-blues should be an easy enough amalgam to pull off in yr sleep. The best, most potent incarnations of both were/are ragged, spontaneous and somewhat autistic in their relation to their respective musical environments; and raw! In practice, however, it's rare indeed when the balancing and blending's put down right: where the timbres are rough yet cogent; the playing's wild but pointed; blues vocabulary is recognizable without being dully parroted. That punk's manic energy saturates proceedings without obliterating the swing and funk that blues is the root of.

Demon's Claws hit it as direct and hard as a pile driver setting girders for a 50-story tower block. Their starting point is Delta Blues and their feel for its flexible structural tenets and rhythms, which run in spurts rather than a rigid European pulse, is impeccable. They utterly submit themselves to the music's invocatory hoodoo, growing ever more wired up and rampaging by the verse. The band's crucial edge in this pursuit comes from the willful ability to add structural tweaks and twists that steer the music away from a verbatim regurgitation of hoary cliché. There'll be a nicely modulated bridge here, a surprising direction to a chord progression there, making for a constantly engaging listen. I also appreciate their adroit interpolation of the odd country influences—after all C&W originated as white folks like the Carter Family playing rural blues and adding their own Celtic-like flavas. So 'tis a perfect fit.

Demon's Claws are the first folks to tingle me in pretty much the same way as the first Gun Club did; so many pretenders to the throne just seemed desperate, forced and clueless. [Dead Canary]

-Howard Wuelfing

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