Demon's Claws

Satan's Little Pet Pig

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What's surprising about Demon's Claws debut album is, frankly, how sunnily upbeat it can sound a lot of the time. Which might sound strange, but since on appearance (and thanks to being on In the Red) it would have been perfectly understandable had the rough garagey rock on here been all about celebrating darker joys like sleaze, meth and loose women. It probably still is, at that, but Satan's Little Pet Pig starts off on a rollicking kick-up-your-heels note with "Shadow of a Castle," a fun ramalama that is downright sweet despite whatever angst it has. From there the quintet trods a reasonably well-worn path -- recorded for the most part in a day-long session, the album has a perfect "just get in there and do it" feeling to it, with the kind of mic'ing of the singers' voices familiar from the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," and with equivalently intelligible results. Rave-ups, shambling blasts, over-modulated screams and a general familiarity of anything anywhere with the tag Nuggets is in evidence, but moments like the focused swift kick of "Unemployment" bespeak new wave's lingering influence as well, a mash-up of attitude from more than one generation. The occasional subtle moment crawls in -- "That Old Outlaw" is a demi-country number that sounds like the Brian Jonestown Massacre stumbling around Nashville for a while, at least to score some more drugs here and there. Meantime, keyboardist Piero Bov can get lost in the rush but when his keyboards step to the fore more on songs like "Cecile LeMay" he brings in even more of a ghost-of-1966 élan.

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