Anthony Moore

by Horror Sleaze Trash on June 7, 2012

Rich Davies and the Devil’s Union.

Back in the late 70’s when photo’s had rounded corners and a yellowed tinge well before they were retro, I remember dressing up as a cowboy with replica six shooters, vinyl chaps and a waste coat that probably ended up on a mardi gras float. My older brother had a Red Indian teepee and we thought we were fuckin awesome!

We’d run around the yard pretending to shoot each other and fall over dead. These days you’d have some goody two-shoes peeking over the fence and ringing Derryn Hinch about how politically incorrect her neighbours are for letting their kids dress up with Indian face paint and how they’ll grow up to rob 7-11’s playing with toy guns. Well it doesn’t matter anyway; I probably smashed some of her windows when I hit the cricket ball over the fence for six and out.

Rich Davies and the Devil’s Union is the closest thing to revisiting those ol’ western days. This Melbourne six piece may yell influence when you first hear them but by the end of the first track you know they’re screaming originality. The heartfelt nature of the song writing style is so deep it hurts to listen, hurts though in a good way like it’s nice to be slapped after sex. The Devil’s Union bleed for their art and in a live show that texture is even more beautiful. Sounds tempered with country, gospel, folk, blues and plain old raw rock’n’roll, this album is too incredible to have been written. It’s the stuff that Spielberg dreams of when he’s making a movie. Thick visuals, heartfelt emotion, skies above with stars that lead on forever that you would happily follow to the moon and back.

With that in mind there really is no better way to review the album than by visual metaphor. Ladies and Gentleman, I introduce you to… Rich Davies and the Devil’s Union.

Track 1: I Died In The Morning Sun.

– Think of Nick Cave singing the backdrop to a haunting Sergio Leone movie; quite dark and mysterious yet stunningly beautiful.

Track 2: Hear This Violence.

– Heartbroken and walking the streets alone, she’s broken down and been beaten one too many times… Sleeping With The Enemy is always dangerous.

Track 3: Buy Me A Pony.

– I know the chorus features Rich yelling out “buy me a pony” but I don’t think that it’s so much about Black Beauty as it is about not always being able to get what you want. Though it shares some of the same themes as Black Beauty, kindness and respect, just maybe in a different light…

Track 4: Black Heart & Pink Lemonade.

– I think that Freddie Mercury may be behind writing the movie for this one after taking way too much acid and joining Pink Floyd. Really? You don’t hear that?

Track ♠: A Blood Red Waltz.

– Then in comes this track to wander around at the end of Freddie’s piece. It’s a different song though it’s hanging out with Black Heart & Pink Lemonade as one.

Track 5: Heavy Red.

– The camera pans backwards down the street to a widescreen shot of Deadwood. Al Swearengen is out on his balcony overlooking the dirty little dustbin town that has become a bustling trade for women, whisky and well, just more of the same. He looks saddened at what it’s become thinking back to his childhood and of innocence lost. Then he just laughs out loud shaking his head as he remembers the two bit whore naked on his bed and goes back into his room slamming the door behind him… The next shot takes in out of town gentility of the male kind unsurely walking into the saloon to wenches drunkenly waltzing with broken down miners in whiskey soaked rags.

Track 6: Run Catriona

– This might just be the soundtrack if Christopher Lambert wandered the Scottish Highlands with an acoustic guitar instead of a sword in Highlander. Oh now I can hear a fiddle… that must be Sean Connery…

Track 7: Baby Cried Wolf.

– One of the best tracks on here, Quentin Tarantino would pull this little number out if he were to fill in as a guest director on The Soprano’s. Brilliant.

Track 8: God Hates The Westboro Baptist Church.

– At first listen I thought it was busting into a kick arse rendition of Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s Plucka Duck but then realised this toe tapping and swinging chorus of hallelujah’s might come from the Church of Monty Python. I can see John Cleese as the Black Knight trying to swing dance with Arthur in the Holy Grail… of course he has no arms and legs but never let a difficult situation stop you from dancing!

Track 9: Bingo Callers Blues.

– I have no crazy arse movie metaphors for this one. I just like to imagine Jack White and Beck have run off to shack up in the country as newlyweds. It’s quite romantic really. They share guitars in their very own recording studio with a white picket fence.

Track 10: Christian For The Image.

– It’s a Young Guns ‘Blaze Of Glory’ verse with an Oh Brother, Where Art Thou chorus. George Clooney is hanging out with the 90’s Brat Pack boys and mixing it up a treat. This is an album favourite along with Baby Cried Wolf and well, pretty much every other track.

Track 11: Audrey.

– The harmonica and pedal steel are gently cruising through the mountain roads of Twin Peaks. I don’t think Rich and the rest of the Devil’s Union had anything to do with killing Laura Palmer but there certainly is some serious longing going on for Audrey. There seems to be no historical context to truly know if Audrey knew Laura or in fact if she ever lived in Twin Peaks, but she is certainly loved all the same.

Rich Davies and the Devil’s Union debut full length is out now through Gretson Records.

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