Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers

The Devil You Know

by David Maine

4 April 2014

 

Let The Good Times Commence

cover art

Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers

The Devil You Know

(Alligator)
US: 21 Jan 2014
UK: 20 Jan 2014

Tommy Castro and the Pain Killers play a rave-up brand of bluesy rock, with plenty of squalling guitar and clever lyrics, a la Too Slim and the Tail Draggers or just about any thoroughly awesome band you ever caught playing in a bar on the wrong side of midnight. Album opener “The Devil You Know” hits the ground running, all swagger and sly lyrical winks and six-string ass-kickery. It’s the strongest tune in the set, with Castro’s wide-open throat mirroring his unleashed guitar.

But there are plenty of nuggets to savor: the chirping organ of “Second Mind”, the sweet slide guitar of “The Whale Have Swallowed Me”, and especially “Two Steps Forward”, with its harmonica skronk and badass riffs. There’s a good range of moods and approaches on display, but it all adds up to a rocking good time. Say hello to your newest undiscovered guitar hero.

The Devil You Know

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