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That Handsome Devil

A City Dressed In Dynamite

(LGM Entertainment; US: 5 Aug 2008; UK: 17 Nov 2008)

Not to be confused with Morrissey, The Smiths or anything remotely associated with that pop style, That Handsome Devil recalls a jazzier, urban-influenced Squirrel Nut Zippers. From the opening scat of “Damn Door” which sounds like jazz, rap, lounge and rock mixed together, the band are an acquired taste. “Winter Green” is a leaner pop tune but still seems like a novelty song or something that was left on the cutting room floor for the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction. Fortunately the tune sounds a bit like Tom Waits, so it does work far better as does “Cry” and the boogie influenced “Rob the Prez-O-Dent” that resembles a clinically insane Primus. But being kooky doesn’t make an album great, but “Viva Discordia” is pretty damn nutty. And good. But “Mexico” is not very memorable.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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5 Dec 2006
A jazzy, spacey kind of specimen that plods along with some crazy but great arrangement behind it.
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