Category: Hip-Hop / R&B

That Handsome Devil, often shortened to THD, is an American rock band that hails from Brooklyn, New York, by way of Boston, Massachusetts.  The band consists of frontman Godforbid (vocals, songwriter), Jeremy Page (guitar, bass, keyboard, banjo, pedal steel, glockenspiel, percussion, accordion, synthesizer, kazoo, background vocals, songwriter), Naoko Takamoto (backing vocals), Evan Sanders (keyboard, trumpet, trombone), Jeremy Siegel (bass, background vocals), Sam Merrick (drums), Deflon Sallahr (live show hype man), Andy Bauer (drums, percussion, accordion, guitar, backing vocals).

The band mixes genres such as rock, funk, jazz, jive, blues, surf, R&B, reggae, rockabilly, rap, and psychedelic.  Their sound has also been described as “equal parts Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, bizarre electronica, creepy hip-hop, and in-your-face gonzo rock”.  Others have described the bands sound as gypsy jazz and the band’s own frontman Godforbid has described the sound as “fringe pop”.

The band was founded by Godforbid and Jeremy Page.  Before “That Handsome Devil” existed, Godforbid and Page were both members of the hip-hop group Alaskan Fishermen, along with Thirstin’ Howl III and Father Time.  In late 2004, THD released their first singles “Dating Tips”, “How To Get Money”, and “Don’t Go”.  On July 26, 2006, the band released their first EP titled “That Handsome Devil”.  The fourth track from the album “Elephant Bones”, was featured as a bonus song for Guitar Hero II.

Their first studio album, “A City Dressed In Dynamite”, was released on August 5, 2008 to scores of positive reviews.  The album was praised as “profoundly entertaining, bizarre in a beautiful way, and a madcap musical frenzy as dizzying as it is dazzling”.  Although the music continued to be as stylistically varied as their previous releases, the album expanded on the band’s prevalent themes of emptiness, drug addiction, materialism, and death.  It also continued their trademark of using dated soundbites from the 1950s.

In December 2008, the band released a compilation album titled “Good Riddance, George W. Bush”, which consisted of anti-George W. Bush songs.  One of the biggest singles from the album “Rob The Prez-O-Dent” actually didn’t refer to George W. Bush or his policies at all, though their song “Viva Discordia” does contain overt references to the Iraq War and the Bush administration, referring to the later as “a bunch of mobsters looking for Osama”.  “Rob The Prez-O-Dent” was a featured song on Rock Band 2 and help the band gain more recognition.

On August 9, 2011, the band released their newest full-length album, “The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell”.  The album garnered favorable reviews from both fans and critics.  The band kicked off the album with a heartland tour and the launch of an independent website.  This was financed, in part, by a fundraising effort through Kickstarter where the band reached their pledge goal of $2,000 within a few days and ultimately raised $6,013 after a month.  Many people chose to donate at the $100 level in order to receive some highly sought-after unreleased songs, along with exclusive accessories.

On August 2012, the band announced a new EP titled “The Jungle Book” which was available for free download through their website.  The EP consists of covers of several songs from the original “The Jungle Book” Disney movie with the songs being redone and quasi-reimagined.

On November 25, 2014, THD released their third studio album “Drugs & Guns for Everyone”.  This album, much like their previous albums received positive reviews among fans and critics as well.

It seems like THD can do no wrong.  Their constant willingness to experiment and blend almost every genre of music together constantly helps keep their music new, entertaining, and very random.  This, it seems, helps add to the bands appeal, making fans of multiple genres able to connect with THD.  They are innovators within multiple musical genres and God only knows what their next album will sound like but I’d bet that it’ll be just as bizarre and random as the last.  In the case of THD, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Check out some of the band’s biggest hits below and keep an eye out for what they release next.  I’m sure it’ll be worth a listen.

Sources: Info: Wikipedia – Videos: YouTube – That Handsome Devil – Picture: Google Images

Major Lazer is an electronic music group created by record producer Diplo, with current members DJ Jillionair, Walshy Fire, and Boaz van de Beatz.  Initially the English DJ and producer Switch was part of the group but parted ways in late 2011.  The group music spans numerous genres, usually fusing reggae and dancehall music with dance genres such as moombahton and electro house.

Major Lazer has released three full-length albums, “Guns Don’t Kill People … Lazers Do”, “Free The Universe”, and “Peace is the Mission” which were released in 2009, 2013, and 2015 respectively.  They also have released and EP entitled “Apocalypse Soon” in March 2014 which featured vocal contributions from Pharrell Williams and Sean Paul.  In addition, Major Lazer have also produced “Reincarnated”, the debut reggae album by Snoop Dogg under his Snoop Lion persona.

Major Lazer was formerly made up of DJ Diplo and Switch, the two were introduced after working with M.I.A. The duo’s first album “Guns Don’t Kill People … Lazers Do” was released on June 16, 2009, through Downtown Records.  It was recorded in Jamaica at Tuff Gong Studios.  Vocalists such as Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Ward 21, Busy Signal, Nina Sky, Amanda Blank, Mr. Vegas, Turbulance, Mapei, T.O.K., Prince Zimboo, Leftside and others all contributed as guest vocalists on the album.  Afrojack and Crookers also added additional production as well.

From 2012 to 2013, Major Lazer had many live shows that featured hype man Skerrit Bwoy but later in 2012, Skerrit left the group to pursue religion.  In 2012, Major Lazer began working with Snoop Dogg to produce some tracks that were going to be included on his new reggae project.  Along with the project came his new alter ego persona known as “Snoop Lion”.  DJ Switch left the collaborative effort due to “creative differences” as claimed by Diplo.  He departed in late 2011 and was replaced with DJ/Producer Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  In September 2012, Major Lazer announced that their upcoming album “Free The Universe” which would be released on March 12, 2012 through Diplo’s Mad Decent record label.  “Free The Universe” featured guest appearances by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Santigold, Peaches, Tyga, Flux Pavilion, Bruno Mars, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, and many more.  The album peaked at #34 in both the US Album Charts and the UK Album Chart.

On February 8, 2015, during the Grammy Award ceremony, Diplo revealed details about the third Major Lazer album.  He confirmed that the album would incorporate artists such as Ariana Grande, Ellie Goulding, and Pusha T.  He confirmed that the album would be called “Peace is the Mission”.  The first single, “Lean On”, was a collaboration with French producer DJ Snake and featured vocals from Danish recording artist MØ.  The album was released on June 1, 2015.  The single “Lean On” reached No. 1 in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands and peaked within the top ten in an additional 14 countries including the UK and Germany.

Major Lazer couldn’t be more on top of the world and they just keep on working.  They just recently announced the name of their next album titled “Music Is The Weapon” which will be released in 2016.  They also have produced an animated cartoon show titled “Major Lazer” for the FXX channel that was inspired heavily by cartoons from the 80’s.

These guys are on fire right now and for good reason.  Check out some of the groups biggest hits below including “Lean On”, the international No. 1 song across the world.


Source: Info: Wikipedia – Video: YouTube – Major Lazer – Picture: Google Images