Feb 062002
 
Authors: Rachel Spannuth

From the first song on their album, Handsome Devil catches their listeners with a strong beat and melodic punk vocals. The music rings of rockabilly, pop and punk influences, creating a slightly different twist on the everyday mainstream sound.

The band, hailing from Orange County, Calif., is tinged with the same flavor of the punk groups produced from the area within the last five years.

The group formed in spring 2000, and was signed just seven months later, according the group’s website. However, everyone in the group had musical aspirations from youth, especially Keith Morgan, the self-taught drummer.

“Love and Kisses from the Underground,” released on Lit’s Dirty Martini label, is a fun album.

The band’s first single, “Makin’ Money,” parodies society’s obsession with famous people and materialistic goods.

The song “Hard Living Clean” shows the side of a recovering drug addict, discussing the difficult emotions one feels when going through withdrawals. The band tags it as a tribute to a “slovenly but sober lifestyle.”

Danny Walker’s lead vocals are reminiscent of the man who discovered him, A. Jay Popoff of Lit. This isn’t surprising, since Popoff helped produce the band’s debut album.

The Clash, Elvis Presley, Ozzy Osborne, the Beatles, the Descendents and Elvis Costello are the band’s main influences, and each song has strong tones of them.

Like many bands of their power pop genre, each member contributes backing vocals to the album. The band forms a rounded sound with two guitarists and harmonizing vocals.

“We’re not looking to change the world,” Walker said on the website. “But if someone can take something from our songs and feel great or better, then that’s cool.”

The group focuses on their live show as one of the most important aspects of being musicians.

“We’ve tried hard to focus on what our band is all about, and the biggest part of that is going out there every night and kicking everyone’s ass,” said Billie Stevens, guitarist and backup vocalist. n

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