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also listed as Dust Devils for some unfathomable reason…

BORN: 1984 in New York. Armed with chiming, steely, detuned guitars, Dustdevils are drunken purveyors of a glorious, buzzing fission. If their second-generation NYC dissonance has gotten them labeled a tired, Sonic Youth-derived headache, the band’s long history (stretching back to 1984), it’s more extensive palette of tempos and its easier-on-the-ears vocals (early on, anyway) render such dismissals unfounded.

The Devils developed naturally and independently they just had the misfortune to customize, expand upon and modify some of the same no wave-and Glenn Branca-derived themes that were SY hallmarks. The group’s early evolutionary work attests to the Devils’ authenticity and individuality. The ‘86-‘88 releases date from a period of exile in Leeds, where British guitarist Michael Duane and Australian vocalist/guitarist Jaqi Dulany (aka Jacqui Cohen) had relocated after meeting in New York. At some point, The Wedding Present’s Keith Gregory was drafted to play bass.

Seeds in the Spoil and Rhenyards Grin show promise, despite some tame, tentative entries and a dated, glossy sheen that flirts with goth pop. Fierce, urgent strumming and Jaqi’s panic-stricken lullabies (imagine a smacked-out Chrissie Hynde) save the day, as do less syrupy numbers like “Encient,” “False Dawn” and the dazed “In Its Own Light.


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