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.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Living On The Ceiling

From: Leeds, England

Ceiling Demons

Despite a fondness for ghostly masks Leeds hip hop trio Ceiling Demons are a far from scary proposition. Their album, Dual Eyes, released towards the end of last year is an interesting mix of muscular beats, soulful, and occasionally downright strange, samples and orchestral strings. MCs, and identical brothers, Psy and Dan forage the outer extremes of their record collection for inspiration incorporating lines from Joy Division (Mendacity), Kurt Vile (Every Step Is Moving Me Up), and a weird sample from Joanna Newsome (Interlude).

The album starts like a cool episode of Songs of Praise with a keening choir before Psy and Dan jump in to deliver a hip hop sermon about seeking truths and keeping it real. The recurring theme throughout the album is the battle with the demons of drugs and alcohol. "You’re dealing with the demons/The ones who got higher than the ceiling", they rap in Journal; they name their poison in The Dark Wood "Starting on the booze. No excuse, I am confused, but this is the poison that I choose" while the bold Amputated Spirit urges an addict not to give up on this/It’ll be all right if you try and win. The battle is most starkly expressed in Closing The Journal with a couple of lines that could have come out of an Alcoholic Anonymous handbook:
Waging war upon reality; the whiskey and the wine, they are our weaponry.Every weekend we wage war upon our health, ever weekend we wage war upon ourselves.
The album's overwhelming sense of darkness and paranoia is leavened by Every Step Is Moving Me Up and the strange pinky and perky, Joanna Newsome on helium vocals of Interlude, By the time you reach the album closer Heartstrings you get a sense of someone who has wrestled with demons and come through with a little help from their friends and family. Heartstrings is the brothers' final message anyone wrestling with their own demons, "Unconditional love lifting you beyond the ceiling, Beyond the demons". 

Dual Sides is an assured debut and one that heralds new stars in the UK's hip hop firmament. 

Go Listen





Go Visit

Ceiling Demons - Facebook

Go See

Ceiling Demons
Lord, I Must Be Strong Now

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Flock of Eagulls

From: Leeds, England

Eagulls

Although the letter that Leeds rapscallions Eagulls posted after last year's SXSW referring to, among other well judged insults, "beach bands sucking each others' dicks" was taken down after the expected furore it was an unfortunately accurate state of the nation address from the far flung outskirts of a dull and predictable music scene. The pissed off authors of the incendiary missive are anything but dull and predictable. Their debut album, Eagulls, is a world apart from the career opportunists that receive undue attention from the mainstream media.

Album opener, last year's tension-ridden single with the award winning video. Nerve Endings, is anxious, prickly post-punk that sounds like Magazine suffering post traumatic stress disorder. It's edgy guitars and savagely agitated vocals lays out the template for the first section of the album. Hollow Visions and Yellow Eyes give off enough negative energy to power a small village for a year. They're tense and hostile, comfortably straddling the borders between the hardcore punk of Iceage and the post punk metal of Killing Joke.

After the claustrophobic, angsty early tracks the tone of the album shifts a little, it's still noisy but it's more the sound of irritated rather than angry young men. With it's shiny, clattering guitars Tough Luck could be a refugee from a Sarah Records compilation that'd been off it's anti-psychotic meds for a week. With the pent up aggression of the early tracks expended their energies are directed into creating the most accessible and festival friendly track on the album. Possessed is wrapped in swirling, spiraling bordeline melodic guitars making it the most accessible, and most traditional indie rock, track on the album. Footsteps combines classic Pistols guitar with post punk vocals to deliver a track that wouldn't have been out of place as the b-side to PIL's Public Image single. The album closes with another track reminiscent of early PIL. Soulless Youth is ferocious, bruising post punk that ends with a terrace chant for the disheartened, disenfranchised and the dispossessed.

With their debut album Eagulls have delivered a missive far more powerful and threatening to the musical status quo than last years explosive letter.

Go Listen





Go Visit

Eagulls - Facebook : Website

Go See

Eagulls
Nerve Endings