Words Mike Beck / Photo David Watson Photography.
Having a thick skin in today’s surreal times is more than a necessity, so it’s good timing that Hamilton hard rock/metal unit Devilskin have just put out their 3rd studio record; Red. Released in multiple formats (you’ll dig the colour-matching vinyl) today Arpil 3rd, Red is described by founding member/bassist Paul Martin to be; “laying ourselves bare”, with “personal subject matter.”
“The verdict – Musically lush & textural, with high production standards & visceral content”
The songs- Orwellian forecasts & loss of freedoms are prevalent in Do You See Birds & We All Fall Down, while Blood & Bone explores being alone/isolated in nature but staying connected. Be Like The River, also the title of their last studio long player, offers independence & a philosophy akin to Bruce Lee; to stay on course & be yourself.
Sweet Release deals with the underlying epidemic of suicide, Martin penning the tune in honour of Nicky Stevens, who took his life while in care of mental health services. A close to home story (the Tron), highlighting a system broken.
“Fans can rejoice in this heart offering, newcomers get in there also; this is your angle of entry”
The band – Impressive on Red is D’skin’s synergy as a unit, they sound like a band bonded. Father & son rhythm section Paul (bass) & Nic Martin (drums) are kicking in full noise, complemented by Nail Vincent’s creative gat layering. Vincent’s acoustic guitar coda on Eyes Red Heavy is deeply personal, & will be explored in its entirety on the next record.
Lead vocalist Jennie Smathers is in full voice on Red. She’s got plenty of grunt & power, mixing trademark guttural styles with soaring feminine runs; take note of her self-penned Eyes Red Heavy & Corrode.
A record of depth, Martin encourages listeners to immerse themselves in the ride. Fans can rejoice in this heart offering, newcomers get in there also; this is your angle of entry. The verdict – Musically lush & textural, with high production standards & visceral content, Red is Devilskin’s best yet.
*with thanks to Paul Martin for an online Q&A