With a surprising lack of hoopla or fanfare, the new E.P. “Cure for Love” by Des Demonas was put up for presale on the In The Red Records website, followed by a few discreet mentions on social media sites.
This is a record for which I have been long waiting, not just because their debut album is an instant classic, its urgent performance demands repeated listening, but because the release of this new E.P. has been delayed by the global pandemic.
With seven songs the new E.P. might be mistaken for being a full length LP, but the songs all clock in at less than 3 minutes each, making the total running time squarely & accurately designated as an E.P.
The sound of the band might by some be described as “Garage Punk”. Instrumentally the band consists of Guitar, Organ, bass, drums, with vocals sloganistically shouted or spoken. One might cite influences such as Question mark & The Mysterions, The Monks, Lyres, The Stooges, The Fall, The Scientists and Jonathan Fire eater. And while that might work as a casual referral from one person to another, to peak the other person’s interest, I think it falls short of what makes the band unique.
To my ears what separates Des Demonas from other garage rock or garage punk bands is their rhythmic approach to their music. All the instruments feel lockstepped to the rhythm of each song. The band feels like five drummers who happen to be playing organ, guitar, bass and singing.
There is a scene in the James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman, when his character halts a practice session when one of the musicians does not understand the rhythm that James Brown is attempting to achieve, and he goes around the room, pointing to each instrument, asking the name of the instrument, and every time, James Brown corrects the musician and states that the instrument to which he is pointing is a drum, no matter what the instrument might in fact be.
I think that same mentality might be at work in the band, Des Demonas. They charge through their songs on this E.P. with names like “Immigaration Song”, “Control”, “Forest Fire” “Black Orpheus Blues” & “Ballad Of Ike & Tina” with a pounding fury and extremely pleasing punctuated vocals.
I’m not a musician myself, and I can not emphatically state that the band hits on the “one”, but they do seem to hit that pocket that makes you want to listen to this E.P. “Cure For Love” over and over, and seek out other music by Des Demonas. They are that good. Rock n’ roll, noise with a beat.
Noah Fence is the host of “It’s a nice world to visit” which broadcasts every Friday from noon to 2 PM on Freeform Portland.