This debut album from the Chicago-based cruisers is a solid and remarkable surprise. With top quality production values, Devil in the Lake presents one slice after another of modern hard rock. If you’re partial to bands like Shinedown, Seether and Alice in Chains, then you’ll find similarities running through this excellent release.
Seeing how other bands of this ilk climb higher and higher within the charts as more and more people hear their music, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine the same formula falling into place for Emperors and Elephants. With songs as strong as Your Will, Change and Hit of Red already established in their canon of work, it’s hard to see how these guys will miss out on commercial delights further down the road.
Bring it Down gets the ball rolling with a powerful riff boosted by a delightful production as Jesse Andrews in places resembles Layne Stayley/William DuVall, yet sings to a backdrop that isn’t Alice in Chains. First single Who You Are drives forward and takes no prisoners whilst album closer You and I works around a tender and fragile piano refrain.
This five-piece stretch themselves with songs like Ghost in the Mirror, a song that guitarist Randy Cooper confessed was a challenge to interpret in the live environment. Incidentally, his credentials include some time with his former band Texas Hippie Coalition. Ultimately the impression your ears will experience when you press play on Devil in the Lake is how solid each track is and therefore how good this debut album truly is. A lot of love has been invested in making this a strong release and to assist the band wade their way through the plethora of similar bands. Once again remember where you heard about these guys first as Screamer Magazine brings you another new act worthy of attention.