That Handsome Devil

(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

A City Dressed in Dynamite (2008), 6.5/10
The Heart Goes to Heaven (2011), 6/10

New York-based band That Handsome Devil, conceived within the hip-hop scenes (Jeremy Page, Andy Bauer, Emile Mosseri and Wayne Jones), debuted with the single Dating Tips (2004) and the hilarious and multistylistic EP That Handsome Devil (2006), that included the single.

A City Dressed in Dynamite (Lgm, 2008) evokes and mocks the musichall and the variety shows of decades earlier: the jump-blues Damn Door, the spasmodic rockabilly Rob the Prez-O-Dent, the exuberant ragtime-era rigmarole of Viva Discordia, and so forth. Pills for Everything is a delicious blend of funk and hard-rock. Wintergreen steals the tone and the guitars from Western-movie soundtracks. Unfortunately, many of the songs are driven by the lyrics, not by the music. This is basically the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band for the Facebook generation.

The Heart Goes to Heaven The Head Goes to Hell (Lgm, 2011) is less clownish and more mainstream. There are still a handful of irresistible vignettes from the distant past (Twist the Knife, that mocks Kurt Weill's Mack The Knife, Charlie's Inferno); but most songs are played and sungs in a more professional tone, and at times that tone turns suddenly tragic (The U & I in Suicide, Karmakaze). The midtempo rules. The laughter of the musichall is a distant echo.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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