Review: Devils Hunt Me Down – ‘In Medias Res I’

We recently reviewed the first EP in a series of three that Seattle’s Devils Hunt Me Down plans to release in 2017. In that review we commented that their sound is tough to pin down, and further driving that point home, the latest release, In Medias Res I makes it even tougher. This one finds them throwing major curve balls at the listener by introducing a trumpet into a Seattle “rock” song and again tossing any number of genres into a blender and letting all hell break loose.

If you find yourself reading this review but haven’t yet listened to In Medias Res II, check out our review of that one HERE.

Released in May of this year, In Medias Res II delivers four songs that most definitely cement them near the top of Seattle’s current crop of heavy rockers. Any conversation about the “best” active rock bands in Seattle that doesn’t include Devils Hunt Me Down is incomplete. The EP starts out with the jam-heavy rocker “Caveman in a Computer Room, ” and sets the tone for the following three tunes with uptempo guitar and driving bass. The powerful, growling vocals of Matthew Bentley are perfect for these songs.  The final song “Rusty Nail” allows the band to display that they are not to be taken lightly, it’s all over the map musically and while the whole band is in the pocket throughout, the meandering bass line from Ian Sides is what sets the hook on that tune. – Northwest Music Scene

In Medias Res I, releases August 25, starts out with “The Formula” featuring the powerful, gravel-voiced Bentley prominent in the mix with a funky-as-hell slapping bass line from Sides standing out front for much of the song, before turning down and carefully trading places with the guitar. It’s an ever-so-slight nuance that probably only works when you have someone like Jack Endino twisting knobs.  For this trilogy the band teamed up with the Seattle legend who has worked with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Ten Miles Wide and so many more, hoping he could capture the vibe of these Sasquatch hunters. And well, it’s Jack Endino so of course he did!

The best way to describe the second song “Santa Maria” would be if a van full of Seattle rockers found themselves in a hazy New Orleans bar and someone asked them if they want to sit in with the horn section. The result is a peculiar blend of brass on a collision course with fuzzed out guitars but works tremendously well. It’s not hard to see how this could go terrible wrong left to amateurs but Devils Hunt Me Down pulled it off brilliantly with the help of the trump-playing visionary LipServus by Sunshine.

“A Stark Winter” is an driving uptempo rock number whose melody seems to borrows heavily from the 70s but with a current sensibility. The last song on In Medias Res I is a tune rooted in progressive rock but “Mindbreaker” also somehow pays homage to southern rock at the same time, all while never venturing too far away from the dirt metal the band has become known for. As we mentioned in our last review, their music has been described as Sasquatch Rock or Dirt Metal but one thing for sure, Devils Hunt Me Down has a sound that is pretty tough to nail down and even harder to pin a label on. One minute they sound almost southern with a jam-band quality and by the next measure are in a full on is progressive meltdown. One thing that isn’t hard to nail down is the propensity of the band to make kick-ass, straight-forward rock ‘n roll in their own unique way, no matter what box people want to put it in.

Spend a little time with both of these EPs and you’ll no doubt find yourself anticipating the third one.

(Listen to the EP below via Bandcamp, and get more info about Devils Hunt Me Down on Facebook HERE.)

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