Friday, January 06, 2017

The Drawer Devils' "Hail Satin!"

Drummer Hank Tosh has an illustrious history in Dallas garage rock, with stints in the Deadites, Stingrays, Gospel Swingers, A Feast of Snakes, and Bipolar Express under his belt. More recently, he kicked the traps behind the instrumental Ape Hangars until he got the urge to do "some more hard edged stuff -- I guess we could call it heavy psychedelic punk." With Ape Hangars bassist Ryan Coplen, Britt Tucker from the Jesus Lizard-esque IBU on rhythm guitar and vocals, and L.A. surf band vet Mike McHenry on lead guitar, Hank formed the Drawer Devils -- a moniker extrapolated from a line in a John Lee Hooker song. The band wisely chose to record in Fort Worth, at Cloudland, with Britt Robisheaux and Robby Rux co-producing.

Their debut full-length for Dreamy Life, Hail Satin!, is a mix of originals and covers of band faves. "Screaming Rummy," originally by the '80s Cali outfit the Beguiled, kicks the door open with an explosion of garage grease in the grand style, replete with pounding beat, stinging riffage, and howling vocalismo. "Swampland," from Aussie post-punks Scientists, drags rockabilly through an oozing morass of reverb and tremelo. Dead Moon's "Psychodelic Nightmare" ups the dementia quotient a few notches, while "Lucifer Sam" seethes with menace only hinted at by the Syd-era Pink Floyd. Among the 'riginals, standouts include "Feelin' Low," with lyrics and a cadence inspired by a dream of Hank's, and "SpaceGhosts," which represents a whole new level of heaviness. There's stylistic continuity here, but within that, there's a lot of variety. With this release and an all-original EP set to follow, these Drawer Devils are a crew to watch.


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