Tag Archive: Blues


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

The Black Angels

The Black Angels, a neo-psychedelic sounding rock band from out of Austin, Texas, is comprised of Stephanie Bailey (drums, percussion, bass), Christian Bland (guitar, vocals, bass, drums), Alex Maas (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboard), Kyle Hunt (keyboards, percussion, bass, guitar), and Jake Garcia (guitar, vocals, bass).  The band has released four studio albums and one compilation album.  The band’s name comes from the Velvet Underground song, “The Black Angel’s Death Song.”

The band formed in 2004 and released their first self-titled EP in 2005.  Following the released of the EP, the band toured across the country all the way until the winter of 2006. During this tour, the band was featured on a dual-disc compilation album of psychedelic music titled, “Psychedelica Vol. 1” from North Star Records.  This album, along with the growing popularity of their MySpace page, gave the band a jump in popularity in the underground scene.   After this tour, they readied themselves for a performance at the annual South by Southwest Music Conference in March, which also help the band gain more popularity.

The groups first full-length album, April 2006’s “Passover”, was generally well received in the underground independent rock community and was noted for its dark tone and lyrical content.  A review of “Passover” described the album as “walking in the shadows cast by spiritualized mastermind Jason Pierce”, invoking “dirges” reminiscent of the “13th Floor Elevators”.  “Passover” includes a quote in the liner notes from Edvard Munch; “Illness, insanity, and death are the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life.”

On Friday, August 5, 2007, the band played at Lollapalooza in Chicago.  The band has also performed at SXSW 2006, 2008, and All Tomorrow’s Parties 2008.  Some of their touring partners include “The Black Keys”, “Black Rebel Motorcycle Club”, “The Warlocks”, “Roky Erickson”, “The Brian Jonestown Massacre”, “Queens of the Stoneage”. “The Raveonettes”, “Wolfmother”, and “The Horrors”.

The band released their second full-length album, “Directions to See a Ghost” in April 2008.  The band toured as the backing band for the former “13th Floor Elevators” frontman, Roky Erickson, on a series of dates across the West Coast of the U.S.  In 2010, the band recorded a couple of collaborative tracks with “Unkle”, one of which – “With You in My Head” – appeared on the soundtrack to that summer’s multi-million grossing “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”.  This large-scale exposure lead to their third album, September 2010’s “Phosphene Dream” which became the band’s breakthrough record, hitting the Top 50 of the Billboard chart immediately following its release.  A companion EP titled “Phosphene Nightmare” was released in 2011.

In 2013, the band released “Indigo Meadow” which was produced and mixed by Grammy-Nominated fellow Texan, John Congleton.  That release was later followed by its own companion EP, April 2014’s “Clear Lake Forest.”

Check out some of the bands biggest singles below and if you like what you hear, be sure to pick up one of the groups albums, which are available on Itunes.

 

Sources: Videos: YouTube – The Black Angels –  Info: Wikipedia, AllMusic – Picture: Google Images