Thereís actually a common them running through these next four demos. One which might surprise you. They were all supplied to me by someone who does some work for Kerrang! Aye, I know. My favourite magazine. "Sell out Dave". Yeah yeah. My opinion on the magazine remains as it is, but Iíve said that Iíll review whatever Iím given, and am always after new demos. So thereís no difference here. Though it is a shame that as there actually appears to be at least one person at the magazine checking and listening out for demos, that they donít kind of cover them. But still, you have to start somewhere, and maybe this is the start of the magazine actually doing what it should be doing for music in this country. Well come on, you didnít expect me to do this without some kind of dig did you?
First band then areBlack Not Green who are attacking from the dance / techno / rock crossover thing. At the moment Pitchshifter and BlowHoly have this genre sewn up for me, and this doesnít manage to quite reach the quality of either of those two outfits. But to be fair the songs are growers and settle in after a few plays. Highlight is probably the second track Disco, though itís refrain of "letís go loco" is probably unwise. Someone else got there ahead of them on that. Angry Young Man is the opening track and is another song that although after itís over you canít really remember it, while itís playing it sounds right, familiar. If they could just manage to get the songs to stick in the mind at the end, then we could be on to something. Iíd certainly like to hear whatever they come out with next. The final track on offer is Pump It Up which is more guitar driven than the previous tracks, but again, the chorus is closer to something Kiss would sing than Iím comfortable with, although the song itself is musically nothing like them, and has a discordant saxophone part in there somewhere in the middle. Just that Pump It Up reminds me of something Kiss or Whitesnake would sing, and you donít want to walk away from a demo thinking of another band, you need for Black Not Green to be stuck in your mind. Probably one to keep an eye on.
Writing a song about Pamela Anderson is I guess one way to gain attention. Couldíve picked someone who was good looking though instead of some overrated media creation. Still, itís whatThe Saffs have chosen to do, and the song is actually quite good and catchy. Not the greatest thing, but still better than the subject matter. Nope sorry, not a PA fan. But the Saffs must be, as the sing "Pamela Anderson I wanna by you". Either fans then or they want a sex change. Whichever it is, itís the standout song both for the chorus and the music. That kind of pop punky sort of thing, but thereís more an edge to the guitars than on the remaining tracks Falling Down and War Not Peace which just tend to drift by me no matter how many times I play it.
I guess thereís the potential there to be ok, but to stand out from the crowd? Iím not convinced yet.
Next we haveEnmity who up the tempo and inject a bit more metal into the proceedings, with a hardcore / new metal crossover sort of vocal topping things off. Spoken is the first of the three tracks on offering, and it has all the ingrediants, and the double bass drum is a rolling and the guitars grind away in obligatory fashion but somehow it doesnít grab you in quite the way it should. Enemy Within follows on and again, thereís nothing wrong with it, but with the entire demo Iím just not getting excited by it either The last track, I Think Youíll Find is the same, although there is one riff half way through that makes you look up and is different enough to what theyíve been doing, yet fits in well. Itís the sort of thing that makes it standout, and they need more of that. Maybe itís subtlety, maybe variety, but in a crowded world, something a little different is needed to stand out. And at the moment I donít know that Enmity have it. ,However, if youíre totally into music that borders the metal / hardcore edge, though with itís leanings more definitely in the metal ground, then take a listen and make your mind up for yourself. I may be missing something totally obvious.
Last band up areFog Donkey, which is a name Iím not utterley convinced by. But then, I still think Yaz is a crap name yet I still use it, so what do I know? Anyway, Big Outlandish Tropical Mother is an awesome title for a song, and it just screams Red Hot Chilli Peppers at you, from the laid back funk at the start, to the frentic punk style mid section, and the slightly off key and flat vocals, a bit reminiscent of Kiedis. He got away with it, and they matured, so thereís no reason why Fog Donkey canít. Except their British of course. Next is Pencil Case, althogether more fuzzy and jangly, and a little lower on the funk, but with a familiar sounding chorus, and itís got a guitar solo that if it was doused in distortion wouldíve been pure metal going for that eastern sound. But itís not doused in distortion, so it just ends up sounding like the token gesture that maybe bands like Offspring have sometimes leant towards. Not The Same is next and is altogether more punky musically, and it has a 1 2 3 4 screamed out in true punk style. Possibly. Itís ok, but not strong enough to stand out against the rest. And the final track on offer is Lunch which drops the pace back down, at least initially and sees the band singing "I am a part of the food chain thatís all I am". Kind of thing that reminds me of the sort of lyrics that Biafra would sometimes come up with in the Dead Kennedys, though not quite as cynical and biting (sorry, had to do that one!) Oh, and thereís definitely a very metal guitar solo in there to finish things off. Nice.
So there you go. Four bands who are actually quite different, which is nice. Non really and truly set my world on fire, but hey, they might do yours. The only way you can really know is to check them out and see for yourself. And no, in case youíre wondering, Iím not off to play "In League With Satan". Thanks to Alistair for sending me the tapes.
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