EP Review: Devil’s Crossroad

By Andrew Rapisarda

The songs of Devil’s Crossroad pay homage to all the times you have ever made love, resisted the authorities, partied ‘til the sun came up, fought and drank to excess. Devil’s Crossroad makes thrilling odes of wild passion that remind you of all of the good times you will always remember. They are one of the most poetic yet crazed bands I have heard in recent times.

An up and coming band from Adelaide, they are unsigned to a record label as yet but have a strong presence in the pubs and clubs around the city. They thrill their audiences with a unique sound, described on their Facebook page as ‘Alternative Psychedelic Blues Rock’. Their four members are Nathan Dior on vocals and guitar, Zac Czuchwicki as lead guitarist, Kyle Clarke on bass, and Stefan Metzger on drums.

They released their first EP in March of this year, and it’s an impressive little number to give any listener a good feel for what Devil’s Crossroad are all about. The EP contains six songs, and all of them are pleasingly varied in style and lyrical content. Devil’s Crossroad are known for producing fast-paced numbers of filthy riffs and warped psychedelic madness, while also producing works of touching, melancholic beauty. They are not a predictable group.

The first song, ‘Rag Doll’, is a solid opening to the EP that begins with a hard and fast, frenzied psychedelic wall of sound which intermittently drops off in pace, and then explodes again into complete feverish rock and roll abandon. The lyrics of the song make an ode to the catastrophe of young lovers hell-bent on completely giving themselves up to each other. It’s a fatalistic song to match the petulance and admirably passionate yet sometimes foolish ventures of a lover who is willing to sacrifice it all for their other, to let themselves be treated as a ‘Rag Doll’ in the tempest of their love.

Up next is ‘Run Away’, one of their more popular songs at the moment, which also has its own music video that the band produced earlier this year. ‘Run Away’ is a tempest of exhilarating sound, a powerful romp of a song that makes you want to let everything go and escape the bullshit and all the fear and loathing you capitulate to in your life. It’s a song that makes you feel like it’s ok to be insolent and angry sometimes.

Next on the EP is ‘Fuck the Constitution’, an ode to the rebel, confronting society and all the arbitrary control that’s heaped upon us. It has such a romantic, brazen message that I cannot help but adore its somewhat brash, simple morality that it imposes on the listener. ‘Does anyone remember…just what freedom means?’ asks lead singer Dior, before the song breaks out into an immensely satisfying, lonesome, wailing guitar solo of absolute magnificence, over a full minute of awesomeness that qualifies itself as my single favourite moment on the entire EP.

‘Needle in my Neck’ is somewhat more aggressive and contemptuous than any of the others, its hard rock and roll providing a powerful sound that builds up to hateful intensity and angst. It is a dramatic number that shows the band’s capability for a harder variety of rock for those who prefer a bit of grit in their music.

‘Exorcise Me’ is a complete delight in its disturbed, dark energy. It is a grungy, spiteful song, a testament to the darker side of human nature. It tells of deep-seated, borderline sociopathic anger and great despair, and the rasping, lonesome vocals of Dior, combined with the rolling, rollicking instrumentals make for a hell of a ride.

‘Fake Smiles and Thoughts of Despair’ starts with a soft, melancholic opening and progresses into a floating, intoxicating, yet at the same time crushingly sad song. It’s a particularly emotive number and perhaps not the best to listen to when your heart’s feeling a little tender. It makes you think a lot about the injustices and great terrors of the world, the kind of stuff that leaves you wide awake at night, while reminding you how vulnerable and sensitive you really are, and that shit can overpower you sometimes.

The EP altogether provides an immensely pleasurable yet emotionally tumultuous listening experience. You will be both charmed and overjoyed by the more upbeat and wildly rebellious tracks of psychedelic carnage, then provoked and thrilled by the brutal, carnal odes to the darker side of the human consciousness, and then be crushed yet completely enthralled by the melancholic beauty of a song like ‘Fake Smiles and Thoughts of Despair’. Devil’s Crossroad’s first EP has been a success in showcasing the impressive range of musical ability the group is capable of, and is an essential buy for any listener who is looking for a unique new band to indulge in.

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