The Devil is dedicated to unearthing unknown, unheard, unseen, unheralded, unfamiliar or down right unbelievable bands old or new that have not yet hit the radars of the British public. If you are a new band or artist and would like to be considered for inclusion then please contact me via email or twitter.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Going Underground #28

Christmas Underground

As we build up to the most wonderful day of the year tonight I present to you a Going Underground Christmas special with five festive tracks from the Scottish underground. Thanks to Scottish Fiction for helping to point me in the direction of the best Christmas songs from the Celtic fringe.

Ballboy - Merry Christmas to the Drunks, Merry Christmas to the Lovers

Behold, the Old Bear - Christmas Stalking

The Spook School - Bah Humbug

Evil Hand - Around The Tree

Flutes - Matchsticks (Geez A Kiss)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Christmas Bird

The Bird & The Monkey

Tonight I give you an early Christmas present courtesy of the peerless The Bird & The Monkey in the form of their latest album Amplitude which collects all their tracks from the past five years together (available on bandcamp). It's a fantastic collection of twelve remixed and remastered tracks that contain more ideas, more creativity, more imagination and more intelligence than the collected works of the entire cast and crew of Band Aid 30 put together. 

The album opens with the bewitching jungly, eastern influenced electronica of Ossie Dean bending and twisting like a snake in thrall to the charmer's tunes. Before you've had the time to draw breath the Scottish duo have served up a ghostly love song (Ghost Apparition), a Tom Waitsesque sea shanty (Nicotine Stain Around The Moon) and a cornucopia of snarly guitars, buzzing bass, strummy acoustic and twinkly xylophone (Baal 4 Justice). Four distinctive and distinct tracks that take you well beyond the mainstream indie fare of floppy hair and tight trousers. 

The creativity continues through the rest of the album with each of the twelve songs making a convincing case for stand out track. The remastered Daisy James on the Pincushion is a full bodied brew of PJ Harvey and Jayne Casey (Pink Military Stand Alone). If Love's A Cure is the sound of lovers breaking up, lovers making up, lovers hurting, lovers kissing; it's the sound you get when you throw everything ever released on 4AD records into the Hadron Collider. Stirring it Up is pure viagra for the ears. Chalkmark Cindy sounds like Enya with asthma being chased by a police car. It's breathy and sensual like someone released the backing vocals of Je T'aime into the community. The album ends with the spiritual nu folk hymn Lord Is Gracious, Princess Cygnet making a very convincing pitch for best track of the album.

So there you have it 12 tracks that together represent a retrospective that proves that, despite Simon Cowell's best efforts, originality, artistry and imagination are alive and kicking. Here's to the next five years of avian and simian creativity. 



The Bird & The Monkey - Facebook : Website


The Bird & The Monkey
Ghost Apparition