Tag Archive: Rock


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

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band that formed in 2002 out of High Green, a suburb of Sheffield, England.  The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keyboard), Jamie Cook (lead and rhythm guitar). Nick O’Malley (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Helders (drums, percussion, backing vocals).  The band has released five studio albums: “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” (2006), “Favorite Worst Nightmare” (2007), “Humbug” (2009), “Suck It and See” (2011), “AM” (2013) and “Life” (2015).  They have also released one live album “At the Apollo” (2008).  Their debut album is the fastest-selling debut album by a band in British chart history, and in 2013, Rolling Stone ranked it the 30th-greatest debut album of all time.

The band has won seven Brit Awards – winning both Best British Group and Best British Album three times and have been nominated for three Grammy Awards.  They also won the Mercury Prize in 2006 for their debut album, in addition to receiving nominations in 2007 and 2013.  The band has also headlined at the Glastonbury Festival twice, in 2007 and in 2013.

Arctic Monkeys were heralded as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the internet (through fan-based sites rather than from the band), with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way new bands are promoted and marketed.

The band’s latest album “AM” (2013) was recorded in Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California and featured guest appearances by Josh Homme of “Queens of the Stone Age”, Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder-Jones of “The Coral”.

Upon the release of “AM” on September 9, 2013, the album debuted at No. 1 on the UK album charts, selling over 157,000 copies in its first week.  As a result, Arctic Monkeys made history as the first independent label band with five consecutive No. 1 albums in the UK.  The album received widespread critical acclaim and brought the band their third nomination for the Mercury Prize.  The album also won the Brit Award for Best British Album.

Alex Turner described “AM” as the band’s “most original album yet,” merging hip-hop drum beats with 70’s heavy rock.  The frontman has said that the song “Arabella” expresses the two styles of the album most effectively in one track.  On “AM”, Turner continued to experiment with unusual lyrics and the album includes words from the poem “I Wanna Be Yours” by John Cooper Clarke.  Turner has also stated that Homme’s appearance on the song “Knee Socks” marks his favorite moment of the whole album.  In December 2014, the song “Do I Wanna Know?” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.

This group loves to experiment in the best kind of way, because as they go from album to album, changing up their sound, it seems they can do no wrong.  It seems every album they release, no matter how different it sounds from the last, always meets critical acclaim and gets nominated for multiple awards.  I hope the Arctic Monkeys will continue this streak with their future albums because so far they seem to be able to do no wrong.

Check out some of the band’s biggest hits below and keep an eye out for whatever comes next from these guys.  I can guarantee it’ll be great.

 

Sources: Info: Wikipedia – Videos: YouTube: Arctic Monkeys – Picture: Google Images