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Devil To Pay : Cash Is King

Devil to Pay's 'Cash is King' is a perfect example of how America's Midwest, as exemplified by such medium-to-large sized cities as Indianapolis, are brimming with musical talent that would simply be overlooked if it were located in such traditional kultural centers as New York or Ellay. On this, their second album, the group has carved out a fine piece of turf on the shifting boundaries of stoner, rock, and doom, and they didn't need the help of any established culture mavens to do it.

For Devil to Pay, it seems that a simple love of the finer things in hard music, combined with a lot of intelligence, has led them to this happy pass, and we're all the beneficiaries. The music is chock full of creamy distortion, played at a medium pace somewhere between stoner adrenaline and doom dirge, with first-rate musicianship. But it's the songwriting and lyrics that really set Devil to Pay apart from the herd. There is a type of songwriting genius at work here; there are just too many catchy, hokey, anthemic stomps on this record to write it off to luck or chance. And the lyrics! It's rare to see this level of intelligence and articulation this side of Lemmy, and I say that only half in jest. Seriously, the lyrics present a stern indictment of wealth and how it fuels the power of the few to shape society for the many. And although it may come across as brutal cynicism, it's really more a case of realism. It ain't pretty, but it's true!

The band has taken the next step forward, which doesn't necessarily mean more refined. In fact, if anything, the sound is a shade more raw than their first full-length, 2003's '30 Pieces of Silver'. But for a contemporary take on 'Sabbath goes 'Purple with a Washington '88 chaser, you can't beat it. Is it flawless? Nah: the album is too long, and the songs, anthemic as they may be, blend together because the medium-paced tempo is too prevalent. And as far as anthems go, it's hard to see them ever beating their early single, 'Tractor Fuckin' Trailor', for sheer brilliance. Still, you'd have to be a grinch indeed not to bow to the power of 'Cash is King' on its own terms. Like me, you'll probably want to add it to your year's Top 10.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Kill Everything
2. Little Horns
3. Shake Hands with Death
4. So Low
5. Belial
6. Born to Rue
7. Swallow the Fish
8. The Mountain Comes to Me
9. The Bottom Line
10. A King's Bounty
11. Over the Coals
12. Ripped from Your Womb
13. Yggdrasil
14. Niflheim

Duration : Approx. 70 minutes

Visit the Devil To Pay bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
No God Only Pain
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