(HER NAME WAS) TRAGEDY – Demons (Alaska Productions/Swedish Punk)
Change seems like the procedure du jour for this Swedish trio, who are now working on its first release since issuing a pair of dueling compilations in 2004 (on separate labels, too: “Riot In Japan” on RYOW-Ken Records and “Demonology” on Gearhead.)
Since then, the Demons have parted ways with Gearhead, guitarist Stefan Jonsson, and replaced a bassist (Muffins Brink), so it's safe to call these lads' lives a bit hectic – hence, this EP's release to tide over the faithful until the next album arrives, and they can slide off their tenterhooks.
Whether that group reaches mass quantities remains to be seen: my scorecard shows “killer” for the title track, followed by “good, balls-out take” (“Police On My Back”), “neither here nor there” (“The Way Of The Dice”), and “so-so” (“Situations”).
“Tragedy” gets matters off to a rousing start, framing its rock 'n 'roll Jezebel lyric with a fist-punching chorus and enough guitar hooks to sink a Russian whaling boat; if the grey flannel gremlins weren't running American radio, this song might make an impression here. “Police On My Back,” the Eddy Grant song made famous in umpteen Clash live shows, also gets a rousing, rockist sort of treatment.
“Situations” strives mightily to mine the same energy, only to drag on a never-ending, repetitive chorus, while “The Way Of The Dice” sags from a skeletal, been-there, done-that type of riff (though, live, these shortcomings probably wouldn't matter).
On balance, this disc serves its “holding pattern” function, but you'd probably be better off waiting for the album, which should truly tell the tale. – Chairman Ralph
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