Devils Elbow: Broken Record Syndrome (Hit Your Head Music)

 |   |  1 min read

Devils Elbow: Broken Record Syndrome
Devils Elbow: Broken Record Syndrome (Hit Your Head Music)

Devils Elbow -- the core of which is singer/guitarist Alec Withers -- deliveerd one of Elsewhere's best of 2010 albums with the excellent Sand on Chrome, an album that picked up favourable notices everywhere in New Zealand for its gritty country-flavoured folk-punk which drew on ragged alt.country and bar band rock'n'roll.

Another album is due later this year -- the title track here is to be on it -- but meantime this collection of B-sides from singles and other songs isn't by any means a stop-gap.

With eight tracks it comes of as something more than an EP and an almost-album in its own right.

Again Withers -- and here pals Ben Lee (bass) and Adam Lamberg (drums) plus guests -- plug into the spirit of early inner-city'n'angry Jam (the title track), Joe Strummer and the Pogues, but also pull in some edgy atmospherics (Endless Dedication, the menacing two minute interlude of  Bones Below) and plenty of stuff that would play well in any bar called O'Malley's on St Paddy's night (Like a Flash, Trouble).

So, sort of rebel music on most fronts. Devils Elbow would play well in workingclass bars in Dublin and Dallas.

But right at the end is a solo, overdubbed instrumental by Withers which, at almost eight minutes, might test the mettle of some for its slow unveiling and melodic reiterations.

However to these ears Withers has written a wonderfully spacious and evocative piece for his own Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid movie soundtrack. And as someone said about that Dylan album, it was music for funerals and weddings.

So here you have it: a not-quite album (34 minutes) of music for dancing, possiby fighting, fist-raising against wrongdoers . . . and reflection.

Cannot wait for the new album. Meantime.

Broken Record Syndrome is available from here. And at just $8 it is ludicrously cheap.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jackal: Only Everything

Jackal: Only Everything

Going to flip all the cards here and say that much as I like some kinds of hard rock and metal, I originally thought Auckland's Jackal probably weren't going to be my band. Dense, nail-gun... > Read more

Reb Fountain: Like Water (Fountain/Elite)

Reb Fountain: Like Water (Fountain/Elite)

Recorded in Christchurch, Vancouver, LA, Texas and Auckland (whew), this impressive debut announces yet another major New Zealand singer-songwriting talent. Yes, in a couple of the gentle ballad... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ann Peebles: I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home (1972)

Ann Peebles: I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home (1972)

Well, if anybody in '72 could break up somebody's home it would have been the steamy Ann Peebles who delivered this classic Memphis soul gem and the following year cemented her reputation with two... > Read more

Roger Manins: Trio (Rattle Jazz)

Roger Manins: Trio (Rattle Jazz)

Taking the pulse of New Zealand jazz is difficult: just because there are festivals (which rely on imported drawcards) and the annual Tauranga event (a guaranteed core audience because of its... > Read more