homepage logo

Demon Beat album not just a load of ‘bull’

By Staff | Jul 29, 2011

Shepherdstown local band The Demon Beat (photo courtesy of the artist)

As this review is being written, The Demon Beat is on tour, traveling from city to town to city (fact) in a beat-up van running on fumes (probably just in my music-loving imagination.)

It’s always a challenge to avoid falling into cliches when you’re listening to/writing about/or are a member in a local band. But as the Shepherdstown-based band’s latest album shows, there’s nothing cliche about The Demon Beat.

“Bull**** Walks” isn’t for the faint of heart. By that I?mean, if your Mybook and Facespace is filled with artists like Jason Derulo, LMFAO or Theory of a Deadman, you won’t like this album. But if that’s the case, you don’t like good music anyway.

But in the off-chance you appreciate music that still remembers the importance of early Rolling Stones and Clash albums, this isn’t something you’ll want to miss.

Throughout its 10 tracks, “Walks” stays consistent above all else. The band’s instrumentation has grown and gelled over years of touring and recording.

(label courtesy of the artist)

Adam Meistherhans’ vocals and guitars provide strong leadership, especially on “Jump My Bones,” a particularly notable track with Jet-esque tendencies.

Meistherhans’ vocals are strongest on album-opener “Nevermind,”?and he sings with a desperation that reminds you it’s the 20th anniversary of an album with the same name.

With Tucker Riggleman slappin’ da bass and Jordan Hudkins beating up a drum set, the band’s rhythm section provides the uptempo foundation that moves “Walks”?along.

There are moments of lag, however. The sparse production is well done, all things considered, but there are still enough tics to remind you the band is just beginning its ascent.

“Give Me All Your Money”?sounds vaguely like someone stumbling down the street after having way too much to drink. But just like the stumbling drunk, the song becomes loveable in its own right almost in spite of its flaws.

All said and done, if your album packs four exceptionally solid songs, and even your flaws are endearing, you’re doing well. The Demon Beat is doing well.

It’s not entirely fair to call this meat-and-potatoes rock music. It’s more like cigarettes and whiskey. More Yuck than YACHT. Which is why I was apprehensive to review it. I’ve been in a synth-induced Beach House coma for months, and the prospect of reviewing something gritty like “Walks” wasn’t entirely alluring.

But after it shook off my pre-existing ambient haze, “Bull****?Walks”?started hitting soft spots. When you’re perpetually immersed in music that uses modern studio tricks, you forget how effective a band can be that sticks to rock’s fundamentals.

Synthesizers may be in, and guitars temporarily out when it comes to indie music, but don’t tell The Demon Beat. They’re making good music ignoring that fact.