Handsome Devil - Loves & Kisses from the Underg (Cover Artwork)

Handsome Devil

Loves & Kisses from the Underg (2001)


Before you read this review, assuming you actually read it, you'll probabaly be wondering just who exactly these guys are. Think Sum41. They have a single, Makin' Money, which is getting serious airtime on the radio. Also, like Sum41, it's almost a rap-punk song. Also, like Sum41, no other songs on the album really sound like their single.

Now I'm not trying to diss on Sum41 or anything, because when it comes down to it I actually don't mind them. When describing the sound of Handsome Devil isn't as easy as just saying "another pop-punk band". When I listen to their new album, two bands come to mind: Pulley and Lit. They're probabaly about as far away from each other as they can be, but think if you take those two bands and smoosh them together. You get this.

Kisses from the Underground is a very catchy album, and it's not really what I expected from the band. Since this albm hasn't been released yet, and hell, since most of you probabaly have never even HEARD of the band - let me do a little run down of the new album, song by song.

Track 1 :: Tie Me Up - This is a pretty good pop-punk song. It's also what made me think "am I listening to Pulley?". I'm serious. It's a bit softer though.

Track 2 :: Makin' Money - This is their single. It's what happens when you add punk, rap, and submit it to lots of radio stations. Not really a bad song, but when I heard it I can't exactly say I had high hopes for the rest of their album.

Track 3 :: Everything - A slower sounding song. This song reminds me a TON of Lit. It's really scary. But Lit isn't a bad band though (and please don't mention how they're not punk - we know). This would make a good rock 'n roll song.

Track 4 :: Tonight - A very good pop-punk song. I can see this as being their next single. Very catchy chorus - you'll be singing this in the shower. Just watch.

Track 5 :: Samurai - This is kind of an annoying song. The lyrics "I'm a fucking samurai from the dark side, eating fried rice. I'm not Bruce Lee, I'm not chinese, I'm on a trapeze, and I'm free" really aren't too swell as far as song lyrics go.

Track 6 :: Back into Action - On the other hand, this track is pretty cool. Another Pulley song. It might just be my favorite track on the CD. It's a little bit darker sounding than a lot of their other albums. Also has radio airplay potential, which means once its get popular I'll have to pretend like I hate it to fit in with the other viewers of this site.

Track 7 :: Sorry Charlie - Whenever I hear this song, I think of the novel "Flowers for Algernon"... but I'm pretty sure that it's not based on the novel. This another Pulley-reminding-song, and it's really good. These guys have a knack for making songs that stick in your head without being annoying (ie: who wants to have Blink182's "Rock Show" stuck in their head? Not me!). You know what, now that I listen to the lyrics I think it might ACTUALLY be about that book... and if it is, I think I might just add an extra star.

Track 8 :: I Fall Down - The title cracks me up. It's really not that funny, of course, but that won't stop me from laughing. The song itself isn't bad. The chorus of "You kiss me, I fall down" doesn't help the hilarity though.

Track 9 :: Hard Living Clean - This is the most interesting song on the album. While I personally don't like it, I have to give these guys credit for adding yet another sound to their album. The sound? Country-punk. I don't think I've ever heard that term used before (Well, except to describe Bad Religion's songs on 'Recipe for Hate' that use a slide guitar), but I don't know how else to describe it. Pretty interesting.

Track 10 :: Barbecue - This is a somewhat generic pop-punk song with a very catchy chorus. More songs like this could move them into the category of "stagnant sounding mainstream pop-punk", which isn't good. I can tolerate a few of these filler songs on an album, especially with catchy choruses, but lucky for these guys there aren't too many of these on the album.

Track 11 :: Bring it On - This is a bit harder than the rest of the album. Very fast guitar riffs while still remaining true to their sound. Another song that reminds me a lot of Pulley. You know, I've said that quite a few times in this review - but keep in mind that sounding like Pulley isn't a bad thing.

So there you have it. Damn, this is one catchy album. I really don't consider myself a huge fan of most the current pop punk bands on the radio, so going into this album I wasn't expecting to like it. I wanted to listen to it a few times, and make a nice review on this website hoping to introduce some people to these guys... but I've been listening to it a lot lately. Sometimes I'll just have it on as background music and put repeat/shuffle on. I'll have to admit these guys surprised me. I like them, a lot.