The Devil Makes Three - "Drunken Hearted Man" (Singles Going Steady)

The first single from the Devil Makes Three's upcoming covers album is fast and upbeat while being lyrically really dark.

Chris Conaton: The first single from the Devil Makes Three's upcoming covers album is fast and upbeat while being lyrically really dark. Par for the course with these guys. That banjo riff is killer, and the overall arrangement here is great. The mid-song guitar duet is very cool, and the subtle fiddle is a nice touch. Even Lucia Turino's late song backing vocals are perfectly placed to enhance Pete Bernhard's lead singing. 8/10

Pryor Stroud: Beginning with an extended croon that resembles the introductory wail-plea in Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy", The Devil Makes Three's "Drunken Hearted Man" is a dust-coated, backcountry barn jam with its roots deeply lodged in the subconscious of traditional American music. Forged from elements of back-porch blues, blue-collar country, gruff folk, and straightforward rock 'n' roll, it brings nothing new to the table, but, since their eponymous debut in 2002, novelty has never really interested these alt-country revivalists. Lyrically, it disinters an agglomeration of narrative ideas closely associated with the earliest days of post-war popular music, ideas that, today, still resonate: filial piety, sexuality as blasphemy, love as misery, and a thematic preoccupation with alcohol. "I'm been dogged and I've been driven / Ever since I left my mother's home / And I can't see no reason why I can't leave this no-good women alone," Pete Bernhard sings, and the anti-hero he creates seems like the exact same developmentally arrested man-child from "Mannish Boy"; except here, there's more nowhere-to-turn remorse than rabble-rousing self-acceptance. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: The Devil Makes Three create some pretty standard banjo and fiddle-fueled Americana folk blues here. The track definitely has a sense of authenticity, and a pretty faithful devotion to the craft. They're fine musicians. Having said that, it's somewhat unspectacular. Nothing you haven't heard before. [6/10]

Jedd Beaudoin: The band has been kicking up a lot of dust in the Americana scene the last few years but has always left me a little indifferent. As much as I love this genre when I see drunk or drunken in the title and then hear banjo, it’s time to head for the snack bar. When are Americana bands going to start writing space operas and really banging some new life into the genre? At the very least there’s some authenticity to the Devil Makes Three and that has to count for something, right? [6/10]

Chad Miller: Pretty good song. There's a lot of energy in this track due to the near constant hits of the claps and drums. The instrumentation has a nice balance and showcases a good variety of sounds, particularly the effective strings. [7/10]

The Devil Makes Three's new album Redemption & Ruin releases August 26th via New West Records.

SCORE: 6.60

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.