Gearhead signed ‘em, SXSW embraced ‘em, The Hellacopters covered ‘em, and yet they still managed to maintain their DIY ethos. The band in question is “DEMONS.” Look out for those all-important inverted commas and accept no imitations, folks. These Swedes said they’d never release another long player, but low and behold we welcome in Kiss Off like an old punk rock ‘n’ roll friend who, like the band, was there from the very start of the so-called Action Rock sub-genre.
It’s album number six (or eight if you include the short ones) and you know what? “DEMONS” are a band on fire. The years haven’t hampered their need to hammer home some urgent garage rock ‘n’ roll. There’s twists and turns amid the guitar, bass and drum fury, and throughout the 12 tracks it’s all killer and no filler. From the get-go of Baphomet Briefs to the ringing guitar feedback of Keep On Doing It Wrong, “DEMONS” have further cemented themselves as forerunners of this brand of rock ‘n’ roll. The catchy as hell Kids are Gonna Cry is my pick of the bunch. With its one key Stooges piano hit, sleazy guitar licks, a sneaky middle eight cowbell and a chorus to die for, it’s a perfect dirty track to rock your soul to the core.
Sure, you could compare “DEMONS” to their Scandi Rock contemporaries, but that would do the band a disservice. They deserve to be applauded on a pedestal all of their own. For all the odour of spilt gasoline, there lies an undertone of song-writing intelligence. As a band that’s been in this game for 20 odd years, they’ve seen it all; from the barnstorming global gigs to the “industry” bullshit.
“DEMONS” will continue to be the underground’s best kept secret, and as a trio of outsiders, that may just suit these Swedes down to the ground. Write them off at your peril, because on this showing, “DEMONS” are here to stay… and rock ‘n’ roll is a much better place with their existence. Ginge Knievil
Grab your copy of Kiss Off in the UK from Glunk Records here