Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Handsome Devils - Burst Into Flamesdotdotdot
artworkThis 1998 CD release is from a tough Canadian band now known as the Heatscores. In this incarnation, they were much more garagie and employed more volume and power than they do now. It clearly shows the foundation of their excellent current sound. Aggressive raucous intros. The production is of demo quality, but does not detract from the delivery.
Picks: Top Fuel Mama, The Sunset Flip, Cool As A Corpse, El Tigre, Drinkin' Drive-In / Prairie Fire, Vengeance On Wheels, Daddy Longlegs, Shoot The Pier, Tuck N' Roll, The Bruce Is Loose, Serpentine, The Saskatoon Stomp, Trollin' For Babes

Track by Track Review

Top Fuel Mama dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hard drivin' garage rock instro power thrash. The progression doesn't quite become a melody, but the ready display of energy is quite an assault. Fast and aggressive, with a manic glissando or two.

The Sunset Flip dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"The Sunset Flip" is a very thick rawk-n-roller, with big sustain and no shortage of aggression. Oh, there's subtlety here too, and even finesse, but at the end of the day, it's the raw drive that makes this work

Cool As A Corpse dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

There's nothing dead about this. It sports a surf structure, a raw garage attack, major guitar assault, and compressed sustain. Bumpin' and tough.

El Tigre dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well, this is mighty cool! "El Tigre" is a cross between a budding surf instro pummeled like the Surf Trio does, and a power driven garage instro. The changes are well thought out, and the energy is splendid. Grodie double picking and a smooth flow.

Drinkin' Drive-In / Prairie Fire dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Bongos accompany the guitar and drums in a much subtler delivery. It's dramatic and powerful, and even melodic, with several changes. In some ways, it's like a cousin to Davie Allan. "Drinkin' Drive-In" is the more traditional of the two merged tunes. "Prairie Fire" is an ominous fire breathing dragon of a tune, chunky and moody and tough.

Vengeance On Wheels dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Can you spell grudge match? All of the race for pink slips edge, and a semi fifties detective melody. Chunky and interesting.

Daddy Longlegs dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Quasi-spiders aside, this is really good track. The damped surf chop rhythm adds to the drama of this glissandoed tune. Big tone, edgie and crunchy. The melody doesn't stick, but the drama and the effect sure do.

Shoot The Pier dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

So the guy says "I don't like that surfin' shit! Rock 'n' roll has been going down hill ever since Buddy Holly died." Then, the Handsome Devils prove him wrong. This is a solid surf track with lots and lots of edge. It's not fast, but it is big. Moody, dark, menacing, and liquid.

Tuck N' Roll dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dedicated to the upholstery in your '55 Nomad, this is a cool choppy number with a surf feel and a dark progression. Flair and pinnace. Touches of Davie Allan and drama. Just plain mean.

The Bruce Is Loose dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fun chicken bopper displays the promise delivered on CD as the Heatscores. Big distortion, like Los Straitjackets through a fuzz pedal. You can just see the the barn rockin' and the hens swayin' as the roosters strut their stuff. Ultra cool.

Serpentine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Serpentine" is a fine slithery surf tune, with a catchy sound and a solid riff. It welcomes you to the s-curve of the curl, like a snake writhing across the surface.

The Saskatoon Stomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Hard drivin' bar stool rock for the kinda place that requires spitting and a Bowie Knife to get in. Big grind.

Trollin' For Babes dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ah, yes! The subtle approach. Tool around the school yard with it hangin' out to see what bites besides mosquitos. Twisted string bending and raw energy slither on about the oldest sport fishing game around. Very cool.