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Music Review

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Artist: Devil Gone Public
Label: Devil Gone Public
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 August 2016

Devil Gone Public is a five-piece genre-breaking band from Sarasota, Florida, USA – comprising Garrett Moore on Lead Vocals, Red on Guitar, Austin Bowman on Guitar, James Hyde on Bass & Vocals, and Brandon Thrift on Drums. Although they have been around in one form or another since 2008, they feel the time is now right to release their debut album, Smokehound. It is presented in a slip sleeve with artwork depicting a medieval plague doctor, a multitude of grave markers and roaming wolves...

The band’s origins lie with Brian Johnson of AC/DC fame, who nurtured them, honing their skills by jamming with them and other notables, such as Scotti Hill of Skid Row and Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn of Booker T. and The Blues Brother. They supported Johnson on gigs with Motley Crue and others. If this description makes you assume you’ll hear Classic Metal or Blues-based Rock on this album, you’ll be sorely mistaken (all will be revealed). DGP actually called it a day in 2012, before reforming two years later, independent of Johnson.

It is said that we are simply the sum of our parts. If the same could be said for music – and, in particular a single genre of music – then by all accounts I should thoroughly enjoy this album. I like Rock and Metal, I like raw energy, I like growled vocals (some of the time), I like Southern Metal, but I can’t say I’m enamoured with the over-all sound. Perhaps it’s the conservative sprinkling of Stoner Rock, which I’ve never really been able to get on with. It kind of substitutes melody for repeated heavy chord structures, like grunge but not really going anywhere.

I’m still not sure if the first track is supposed to be an intro or a fully-fledged song; I can only assume the former is the case. 'Euthanation' starts off well enough. The riff and melody is okay, but that is all we get for the entirety of the song. It’s the same story for each track. They are diverse within the chosen genres, but soon become more than a little stale. I’m probably being unfair because, as a unit, Devil Gone Public is pretty tight and together. So, as I’m not really a Stoner Rock fan, I think it’s reasonable to give this an average mark, because I think many fans into this format will welcome this release.


Ty Power

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