CD Review: "Bullshit Walks"

CD: Bullshit Walks
ARTIST: The Demon Beat

Two words might best describe the songs found on Bullshit Walks, the new 10-song release from The Demon Beat, and those words are as follows: primal energy.

It’s this energy, not unfamiliar to fans of the Shepherdstown-area retro-rock trio, that is captured and is put on display for all to hear on this, their fifth release in as many years.

Whether this energy springs from sexual tension (likely), lovelorn isolation (likely), or band related aspirations and frustrations (unlikely) is for Adam Meisterhans, Tucker Riggleman and Jordan Hudkins to know, and for us to find out. But who cares? People who hear it know it.

Evoking something like The Who + The Stooges equaling some neo-grunge, garage-based power rock three-piece, with echo/reverb-drenched vocals, cavernous, almost 80’s rock band drums, this review, given the guitars in parts, can be filed under feedback and distortion.

Following up on their eight-“movement” concept record 1956, the band seems to have incorporated some of the guitar tones from that release into their previously known melodic rock (pretty progressions & changes, well placed jammed out and sometimes experimental bridges, hooks and epic choruses inside of the loud/soft dynamic song structure) output, still, with Meisterhans’ familiar, alternately soulful crooning and gnarly singing.

Standout tracks for us include “Give Me All Your Money,” a song that might tie together the band’s discography, (or not) “Get It” reminding you maybe of old Weezer, but for us, the best is to be found last on Bullshit Walks.

“Bang” sounds like it’s right out of 1956, a prom song only Marty McFly could sing to get his parents to fall in love, or at least just have sex, with Adam, Tucker and Jordan’s plane crashing into a mountain after the show, further cementing their place in rock and roll history. Or, not. A great, swaying, pretty song, though, that sums up the aforementioned isolation, desperation and sexual frustration, with a killer, distorted guitar solo thrown in that would blow away all those squares at the dance!

“Totally Blissed Out” is five minutes worth of slow-building, pummeling instrumental noise rock. And “I’m Not Really There” closes Bullshit Walks out with more hard driving, distorted guitar rock, and while the lyrics (“I want what I want, and what I want, it ain’t mine…I’m all out of good ideas…”) sound down in the dumps, the song is somehow uplifting, providing a nice end to the record.

That The Demon Beat has been self-recording and self-releasing (this time with help from Caustic Eye and art, again by Hudkins) their material only makes them even more punk rock, even more DIY than most bands. That they’ve established themselves, but still have a chip on their shoulder, and haven’t lost that energy and desperation that makes rock and roll great, will only continue to win them more fans, whether they get laid and/or rich and famous, or, not.

mp3: “Bang” by The Demon Beat

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