Formed in Naples in 2015 and taking their name from Ken Russell’s cult horror film, there’s a cinematic nature surrounding The Devils’ wonderfully blasphemous sound. In their short history they’ve played over 500 gigs worldwide, and there’s really no better way to experience their fuzzed-up sound than at a raucous concert. Succinctly transferring that magic to vinyl and CD, the band’s first live offering, Live At Maximum Festival, captures the duo in their natural habitat and is your ticket to one wild ride.
Comprising of Erika Switchblade (drums/vocals) and Gianni Blacula (guitar/vocals) The Devils are a duo who raise hell with an unholy racket that is far bigger than their constituent parts. Arriving encased in a wall of glorious feedback, opening shot ‘I Appeared To The Madonna’ perfectly encapsulates the band’s modus operandi with Erika intent on pounding her kit to dust, while Gianni snares the listener with a catchy refrain before severing their heads with his choppy riffs. There’s something so very concise about this pairing; every ounce of fat, every piece of dead weight, any excess baggage, has been jettisoned and what remains is raw and visceral, and is a sound that, in terms of sheer power, could rival early Stooges or MC5.
Every so often there comes a band who remind me why I originally fell in love with raunchy rock n’ roll, and The Devils are one such group. Like The Cramps jamming with AC/DC and fronted by Suzi Quatro (after imbibing mescaline) their sound is sharp, sexy and sassy, and will make you shake your stuff (either vertically or horizontally). Blasting through 14 fan favourites, each one of these songs would make the perfect soundtrack to some über-cool giallo flick (think Argento’s Door Into Darkness) and just like one of those films, The Devils hold your attention, even when the blood and feathers are flying on cuts such as ‘Put Your Devil Into My Ass’ and ‘Coitus Interruptus (From A Priest)’.
It is easy to hear why The Devils have performed with artists as diverse as The Sonics and GBH; there’s a definite crossover appeal here, and they’ve a sound that’ll appeal equally to punks, metalheads and psychobillies. ‘Shaking Satan’s Balls’ is as good as the title suggests and is delivered at a furious pace, and one that’d make your average thrash band cower in fear. There is very little time wasted between songs; they are discharged at a rapid rate, their energies are focused into a red-hot laser beam, and this only adds to their vivaciousness and sense of purpose. However, don’t label The Devils as generic; there’s plenty of variety on offer here (such as the time changes on ‘The Devil’s Trick Is Not A Treat’) yet there’s always a groove and swing underpinning proceedings.
Recorded at Altroquando, Zero Branco, in 2022, Live At Maximum Festival is the ultimate distillation of The Devils’ experience. Raw and rumbustious, and with no overdubs, this recording is a musical sacrifice to the deity rock n’ roll, and Live At Maximum Festival is your invite.
- Live At Maximum Festival is released via Go Down Records and is available now (from here).
- I Appeared To The Madonna
- Real Man
- Life Is A Bitch
- Time Is Gonna Kill Me
- Put Your Devil Into My Ass
- Roll With Me
- Coitus Interruptus (From A Priest)
- Magic Sam
- Drunk Town
- Guts Is Enough
- Shaking Satan’s Balls
- Radio Maria Anthem
- The Devil’s Trick Is Not A Treat
- Red Grave