Down in the Mound City a brand new craze is sweeping the streets. Hipper than the Twist. Cooler than the Frug. Devil Rock is what all the kids are craving in the STL.
What is Devil Rock you ask? Devil Rock is a swirling brouhaha of 70’s punk and glam, early 80’s metal, and 90’s slacker fuzz jacked up to violent and ran through a cocaine blender. Devil Rock is a genre born from a childhood diet of Kolchak the Night Stalker, Pre-Code Comics and snuck-from-the-closet Hustlers. Devil Rock is a monster movie musical with a score composed by the big red daddy himself and channeled through four Kiss and Cooper loving incubi whose only goal is to deliver a sonic kick to the teeth. Devil Rock, quite simply, is a tsunami of perfectly constructed sin you have no chance in Hades of stopping.
Now that your lips are moist and your hoo-ha’s a little tingly, I will tell you if you truly want to understand the growing phenomenon of Devil Rock then look no further than the rerelease of the 1996 underground classic, Seduction of the Innocent: Year One by the sheiks of brimstone, Sons of Black Mass, founders and CEO’s of this burgeoning scene. Only one band can hoist the heavy banner of Devil Rock, proudly proclaim it as their own and then wave it in the air like they just don’t care. These boys bring it. Be warned, if you have sipped on the blood of the Lamb or eaten a few of his tasty wafers then this is not the disc for you.
The album opens like all platters of thunder should, with a fucking skullcracker. We Are The Sons is a perfect opener, encapsulating and defining the band in three minutes of unleashed fury. Lead guitarist Trixie attacks his strings with a malevolent force, spitting out vicious chords as the gang extols their devotion to the dark lord with a rousing chorus of heartfelt Hail Satans. Your journey has begun. Buckle up. Next up is the feedback heavy screamer Conspiracy, one of my favorite tracks on the album. This song not only transplants me to a forest clearing, voyeuristically watching as a group of soul thirsty druids get up to no good with the delectable flesh of a virginal nubile, but it makes me want to join in and give them a hand. Conspiracy is followed by 1966, the most headbanging slice on the disc. A salute to the founding of the Church of Satan, this track is a hair swingers dream as the pulse and power of the rhythms whips you into the primal thrashings of an African exorcism. On deck is You Vs. Me, an ode to the pains of a fucked up childhood. Vocalists and lyricist Punky wears his blackened heart on his sleeve, opening his vault of pain and giving you a peek into his turbulent past. You want truth and honesty? The Sons open your yap and fistfuck it straight down your throat on this cut. Cross dressing bassist Sadie Blaze opens the next song with a bump and sleaze thump that launches into a hip swiveling grindfest when the rest of the boys join in making VBS a standout. VBS you ask? Vacation Bible School sucker. A brainwashed world of macaroni Jesus pictures and three bean, paper plate maracas. Avoid if at all possible and for the love of titties people, don’t subject your children to this abomination. (Though in all fairness, when I went, we did get to sing One Tin Soldier and The Theme From MASH, so that was kind of cool. Go ahead and hate your neighbor….) Anyway….. Side one closes out with what is, in my humble opinion, the stellar track of this album. Giant Robot Kill launches from the shadows, seizes your neck and doesn’t let go until every last drop of tasty red goo has been siphoned from your alabaster throats. The twin guitar assault administered by Punky and Trixie makes me want to punch my Grandmother and believe me, that’s a good thing. You miss the good old days of a Nirvana inspired groove? Look no further, the Sons hold your medicine.
Side two (yes I know, you digital fascists, but I had this little gem on cassette in ’96, so for me there will always be two sides) allows you the chance to sit back, sip a mint julep and ponder the state of your world as acoustic guitars take you away to a setting of peace and rainbows and unicorns…for about thirty fucking seconds. The soft and gentle opening is just a prelude as the song builds with a molten intro of samples and power chords and then dives into the hammered filth that is Kids Are Gonna Fuck. Naughty words, nasty guitars, the inability to stop electric libido teens from exchanging fluids, this is what rock n roll is all about folks. Crucified opens with a deliciously gruesome sample from the Italian slasher flick, Cat In The Brain, and then launches into another angst and murder dripping stomper that’ll rattle your peepers like a box of jujubes. I’d bet my right nut that Sadie’s hand is bloody mess by the close of this noisy romp. Princess follows and gives us the best riff Sabbath never wrote. A somber dipped journey into darkness, this track has the dirge that half those Seattle vein stabbers wish they could of possessed. And mastered. Tough luck you flannel mongers, the Sons have got your number. The album regains speed with the uber awesome Burning Paradise, a track that could have been lifted from the seminal Too Fast for Love or at the very least Bangkok Rocks, Shanghai Shakes. People seem to forget the overall punkiness of the early metal scene and the Sons deliver a vengeance wrapped reminder. Sinister hits you with a hook from stage left and doesn’t let up. It’s a song crafted from the destruction of pop while remaining hip enough to gyrate your moneymaker. This is the tune that get’s the plaid skirt, fishnet flashing, neopolitan hair crowd bumping and there isn’t a dirtbag alive who doesn’t like to see some of that shit go down. Earth Dies Screaming closes Seduction, kicking your drained and battered face one last time before the Sons sign off and ride into the sunset. Skillfully crafted and combatively played, this track is the cigarette after the popshot. A perfect ending to a sweet and hateful tale.
So there you have it folks, rock n roll in all it’s demonic, naked glory. I wish to say thank you to the trio of Original Sons for this disc of joyous cacophony, I love it the same as I did in ’96. And for you sadsacks who missed the boat on the first Carnival cruise don’t your worry your decadent little heads. The Sons are not only back but with the addition of the mighty skinsmaster Kenzig, lured into the fold with the promise of Liberian diamonds and a double order of crab rangoon, they are more powerful than a dose of Malaysian crotch rot. Currently recording a follow-up to their brazen debut, I can tell you people, I’ve heard a few tracks and it just flat out fucking blows the doors off. If these sinister cats come within a hundred miles of your burg you need to pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and pledge your devotion to the almighty Sons.
So Googely their name, Twit their songs, set up a wall of love on your Spacey-Facey, but whatever you do don’t sit around with your thumb up your coal chute and miss out, for a second time mind you, on this raging slab of chaos. If you got the sac to throw down and want to bet a thoroughbred, throw it all on Sons of Black Mass to win. They might just resurrect the sorry state of Rock n Roll.
The Devil Rock never stops.
Stoned & Alone