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The Demon Beat cuts new CD

By Staff | Nov 6, 2009

The Demon Beat is, from left to right, Tucker Riggleman on bass, Jordan Hudkins on drums, and Adam Meisterhans on lead vocals and guitar. Photo by Rachel Molenda

Shepherdstown blues-rock-revival trio The Demon Beat have established themselves as one of the premier independent rock bands in the state of West Virginia, garnering critical praise from as far afield as Boston’s alt-weekly newspaper The Phoenix. They have taken a break from touring to release a new album entitled “We’re 23,” which will be released this Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., at a free album release concert in Shepherd University’s Student Center, across from the library.

This is a band which has made its reputation by playing rocking live shows which move people to groove. This album is an excellent preview of the energy which they bring to their shows, however that may also be the album’s biggest weakness: it plays too much like a live show.

One gets the sense that this particular collection of songs, performed and arranged as they are on the CD, are designed to maintain the emotional and physical ebb and flow of a live concert and not a CD.

Stripped of the smokey surroundings of a sweaty Shepherdstown bar, the songs kind of blend together. There are no bad songs, but there wasn’t a standout single either.

The 10 track album is nothing but trademark Demon Beat. Once again, you have the quivering yowling blues vocals of front-man Adam Meisterhans laid over smooth bass-lines provided by Tucker Riggleman, capped off with the enthusiastically infectious percussive rhythms of Jordan Hudkins. Tracks like “You Got It” exemplify the typical Demon Beat sounds, a sweaty-blues-mosh-jam which somehow always finds time to sneak in a freaky breakdown at the most surprising moments.

Their lyrics are largely influenced by blues mantras; repetitive on paper, they come to life with Miesterhan’s narrative emoting. As an ensemble, they produce an excellent, gritty, rust-belted throwback rock sound that’s rare to hear these days.

– MT