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 articles index

Pop Levi: Never Never Love (Border)

Pop Levi: Never Never Love (Border)

Recently Mika and Kylie proved the durability of mindless, glam-pop which comes splattered with glitter and huge choruses, not much in the way of emotional depth and is just a whole heap of... > Read more

Danny Adler: Bit of Beatles (Ace/Border)

Danny Adler: Bit of Beatles (Ace/Border)

So here be 10 Lennon-McCartney covers and three originals (tributes to Lennon and Harrison) by a man whose sleeve photos would tell you he was clearly a teenager when the Beatles broke more than... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JACKSON C. FRANK PROFILED (2014): A folked up life

JACKSON C. FRANK PROFILED (2014): A folked up life

Surely we will not only be forgiven for missing the recent reissue of the sole album by a lost British folk legend, but excused for never having heard of him at all. Jackson C. Frank died in... > Read more

Peter Brotzmann; Silo Park, Auckland. May 3, 2014

Peter Brotzmann; Silo Park, Auckland. May 3, 2014

There were a couple of key junction points where jazz parted company with its broad audience. The first came when it uncoupled itself from dance music in the post-war period and by the Fifties... > Read more