Handsome Devil Love & Kisses From the Underground 
Review by antiGUY

Handsome Devil Love & Kisses From the Underground
Label: Dirty Martini / RCA

Tie Me Up
Makin' Money
Back into Action
Sorry Charlie
I Fall Down
Hard Living Clean
Bring it On
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

Handsome Devil is the latest band to emerge out of the Orange County, California music scene. While Orange County is an upper middle class suburban sprawl of track homes, strip malls, freeways filled with SUV's and BMW's as well as the home of Disneyland, it's spawned more than it's fair share of rock stars including The Offspring, Lit, Sugar Ray, Zebrahead, No Doubt and punk legends Social Distortion. 

Musically Handsome Devil is what you get if you mixed The Offspring with Lit and The Living End. While posers like Blink-182 have given the burgeoning punk-pop scene a bad name, Handsome Devil seem poised to rescue the genre from the over popification it has received from the likes of Blink-182. Handsome Devil does deliver some power-pop driven melodies but their music has a punky hard edge that distinguishes the band from other bands that blend power-pop and punk. They follow more in the tradition of All then Greenday, with a firm focus on punk while still managing to present enough hooks to make the music a shoe-in for top40 radio airplay. 

That bit of Lit influence you might hear in the vocal melodies might be attributed to the fact that Jeremy Popoff of Lit co-produced this album with Ed Stasium (Ramones, Smithereens.) In fact, Handsome Devil is the first outside band to release an album on Lit's Dirty Martini label (distributed by RCA). 

This CD is a collection of songs just crying out to become hits. While there isn't a "filler" track in the bunch some songs are more equal than others with standouts including "Sorry Charlie", "Tie Me Up", "Everything", "Back in Action" and "Barbecue". Then again, I've listened to this disc a couple dozen times so far and have yet to push the fast-forward button. In other words, it's all good. 

"Love & Kisses From the Underground" is a bombastic mix of guitars and vocal hooks presented in well crafted songs that go far beyond the call of duty to bring some respect back to the "punk-pop" scene by injecting it with a large measure of credibility it has been missing over the past few years. Handsome Devil is definitely a band that deserves the attention of the record buying public. 

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