Yellow #5

Demon Crossing

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    7
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Yellow #5's gritty debut, the wild and whiskey-soaked Demon Crossing, echoes Tender Prey-era Nick Cave and early Concrete Blonde filtered through a broken pint glass. The Los Angeles by way of New Orleans trio is led by the purely nocturnal bass/accordion/vocal prowess of Molly McGuire, whose delivery is as whip-crack volatile as it is undeniably sensual. McGuire and guitar player Dave Catching, who split their time with Mondo Generator, a Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age side project, are the perfect left and right branch to Kyuss and Fu Manchu drummer Brant Bjork's formidable trunk. The three take on a well-worn dirty smoky blues-based form of bar band posturing and make it uncomfortably real and refreshingly atmospheric. Bookended by a carnival-gone-wrong accordion instrumental, Demon Crossing effortlessly thunders through explosive, beat-heavy rockers like "Auto Pilot" and "Seven Addictions" with mad glee, but it's the album's lazier numbers that stick to the listener's eyelids -- "Moon Man," with its dripping circular slide riff and "Deviant Angel"'s University-era Throwing Muses languidness are both custom built for that 3 a.m. drive home from God knows where. Described by the band as "Inspired by the twin moons of a nasty breakup and a desire to musically re-create the atmosphere of Nola's Circle Bar, to whose recently passed owner Kelly Keller the album is dedicated," Demon Crossing feels like a drunk, late-night conversation with a potentially dangerous new friend.

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