Handsome Devil - Knock Yourself Out

What's the definition of punk rock? These days, it seems as if anybody with a semi-spiky haircut and sneer fits the bill. Unfortunately, it appears as if this is how Orange County trio 'Handsome Devil' have been packaged.

I've got to say, this isn't punk, it's not pop punk, and it's not even glam punk, the music just seems to lack the chaos needed to fall under these categories. The only time any furiousness dares to make an appearance is on the bouncing 'New Thing', but then, all 'punk' points gained are immediately deducted when 'Liquor Store' hits the eardrums.

While they aren't punk, Handsome Devil do put some good music on disc. 'Hello', 'Somebody' and 'Angels on High' are well written and the cover of 'Bette Davis Eyes' is genius. The music, being too 'hard' to qualify as pop, is probably best defined as hard rock with a slight, non-threatening crunch. The faster songs get under your skin and continue to bounce around inside your head. To their credit, they also have no fear of laying down those slow, heartfelt tempos.

There's definite talent here and hopefully the packaging will eventually match the music. Until it does, 'Knock Yourself Out' is worthy of appreciation in a nice mainstream hard rock collection kinda way.

by Lycan Davis

Visit the Handsome Devils Website