Devils Elbow – Absolute Domain (Hit Your Head) ALBUM REVIEW

“THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY” – A SHORT SERIES OF 2014 ALBUM REVIEWS THAT NEVER SAW THE LIGHT OF DAY, FOR SOME REASON.

 

0002251826_10I FIRST HEARD Devil’s Elbow on an excellent EP produced in Napier by the legendary Ian Morris, shortly before the poor guy felt it necessary to prematurely end his life.

Somehow, I thought that might be the last we heard of the group, whose music, rather than the fashionable ‘alt country’, was a more prosaic rock/country combo.

In the three years it took to piece together Absolute Domain, it seems the group whittled down to just guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Alec Withers, with hired hands and guests. It would make a great demo/audition for a country pub with sawdust, beer and blood spilt on the floor. The vocals sound soaked in whisky and ciggies, and with its big drum sound and loud guitar, subtlety isn’t the object.

When they’re not playing loud for imaginary hollering rednecks, Devil’s Elbow allow their Tom Petty, Springsteen and Dylan influences to bubble to the surface, confirming Withers as a skilled songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, but one still in thrall to country-rock clichés.

Hey, it might go down a dream in Western Australia. We hear those miners really get down to manly country-rock. GARY STEEL

Sound = 3.5/5

Music = 3/5

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