Demon Blues


Alive Naturalsound, 2015

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Greasy classic blues-rock right here, folks. Come and get it, fresh from Australia, courtesy of a quartet of Aussie-rock veterans who formed new supergroup Datura4 and released this debut in the middle of summer 2015.

Most of this would fit right on your local classic rock radio playlist, as it approximates the hard rock swagger and light psychedelic touch that characterized the 1970s. But even if this sounds familiar, it’s deft and dirty, bluesy boogie riff-rock that kicks your ass and buys you a pint after. One could also use that description for Wolfmother and perhaps Rival Sons as current bands who reach back to move forward.

“Another Planet” meshes mid ‘60s British Invasion psychedelia, the riff from “Spirit In The Sky,” and an ascending bassline to create a sublime, toe-tapping rocker. The monster riff of “You Ain’t No Friend Of Mine” cuts to the chase but leaves room for a more pensive midsection, while the rollicking opener “Out With The Tide” rides a riff that opens wide, closes, opens wide again, repeat until you’re ready to either dance or notice you are driving 90 mph in a car wash. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Journey Home” is what happens when a dirty low-end riff meets a Blur song (hint: it’s quite good) while “Hoonsville” is even better, an instrumental trip that sounds a bit like Ted Nugent used to without a wango in sight. (Digression: I automatically like any song more if it does not start with the words “Awright, uz ze wango ze tango, one two three faw,” and I like much of Ted’s classic material before he turned Republican. Just thought I’d share).

There’s not much blues to be found save for the title track, which is solid but doesn’t offer much that others haven’t said many, many times over. Skip ahead to the handclaps, cranked-up wall of slide guitars and party vibe that results in “Pissin’ Up The Wall,” the perfect song for your next party (provided your friends drink beer instead of martinis). “Killjoy” offers a fine riff but little else, its intended midtempo atmospherics not really suiting this band’s approach. “Love To Burn” works as a closer, a seven-minute slow burner with overtones of Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull and Edgar Winter; it never really catches fire the way it threatens to, but that spooky, hazy nature is appealing all the same.

Bands with this kind of approach threaten to veer either generic or reverent and are defined by their influences, but Datura4 mostly avoids that trap because of the sheer ass-kicking beer-swilling Australian fun and riffage at work here. Lyrically mundane, perhaps, and it really doesn’t break new ground, but it’s a fun no-bullshit rock album that clears the palate in this summer heat.

Rating: B+

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© 2015 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Alive Naturalsound, and is used for informational purposes only.