BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Devils Elbow: Sand on Chrome (Hit Your Head)

 |   |  1 min read

Devils Elbow: These Days
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Devils Elbow: Sand on Chrome (Hit Your Head)

This raw, sometimes wilfully ragged and largely terrific duo of Alec Withers (vocals, guitars) and drummer-singer Andrew Gladstone formerly in Garageland (and a couple of friends in places) deliver up hook-filled alt.country rock which owes a nod to Joe Strummer as much as Steve Earle, and they also possesses that free-wheeling spirit which made the Replacements so special.

As with the Replacements, they have melodies to burn and they are delivered by Withers who sounds like he's been gargling rusty nails and brandy. Which means when he delivers that title track line he sounds utterly convincing.

Recorded by Ian Morris (Th'Dudes, Dave Dobbyn, Hello Sailor) in the duos home turf of Hawkes Bay, they are here captured in all their taut authenticity.

Over hard hit guitars and sharp drums, these are often songs of anger and urgency (You Did It Again) which sometimes sear off into compelling alt.rock (the collar-grabbing opener Brainstorm, Case in Point, The Hard Part).

But they are also as comfortable on a weather-beaten ballad (Infectious, When You're On Top) and the brief Embargo opens the door into that world of acoustic reverie Dylan explored on the Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid soundtrack.

They also have something to say: "you could try and satisfy the dream or you could live with what could have been" on the chime'n'grime of the air-punching These Days. 

If characters like Earle (in his rocking country mode), James McMurtry, Joe Ely and Ryan Bingham mean anything to you these guys -- who opened for Grant Hart on a recent New Zealand tour -- are definitely in your zone . . . which is the borderline between tough country and indie.rock.

When they come to a bar near you, don't miss them. 

Share It

Your Comments

C;ive - Sep 28, 2010

This is certainly a great CD,got it today and playing it flat out in the car.Yes in the same category as the two Joes,Steve,Ryan and James.Talking about one of the Joes,Bruces version on London Calling of the same song is blistering and of course the Clash is firmly still sitting in my car stero

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Harry Manx: Wise and Otherwise (Border)

Harry Manx: Wise and Otherwise (Border)

Suddenly there's a fair bit of Manx around (see In Good We Trust) -- and that's a good thing Singer-guitarist Manx returned to his native Canada in 2000 after 25 years living in India, Japan and... > Read more

TransGlobal Underground: Run Devil and Demons: The Best of TGU (Triton)

TransGlobal Underground: Run Devil and Demons: The Best of TGU (Triton)

Although many of their innovative approaches have been overtaken by (often lesser) subsequent artists, TransGlobal Underground out of London set a high threshold throughout the Nineties with their... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ella McCool-Reay of Wax Eye

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ella McCool-Reay of Wax Eye

The alt.folk Wax Eye are singer Ella McCool-Reay and her father Steve Reay (of Vor-Stellen) who deliver a very seductive self-titled debut: five songs acoustic-framed songs with bassist Jared... > Read more

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

Son of Dave: '02' (Kartel/Rhythmethod)

In the last couple of years this UK-based Canadian-born singer-songwriter (aka Ben Darvill, formerly of Crash Test Dummies) has conjured up the spirit and sound of old bluesmen punctuated with raw... > Read more