Handsome Devil - Love and Kisses from the Under (Cover Artwork)

Handsome Devil

Love and Kisses from the Under (2001)


At first I was really skeptical. Handsome Devil had two strikes against them in my book. Strike one: Unless I am misinformed, this band has ex-members of the band Wank in it. Wank were perhaps one of the worst bands I ever heard. Strike two is that Handsome Devil got their start thanks to help from the band Lit. Now, I have no real problem with Lit, but their album "A Place In the Sun" was pretty much a piece of shit. So, I figured Handsome Devil was going to be a combination of two bands that I don't really care for, with less skill. I was wrong. Not dead wrong, like this album didn't change my life, but wrong nonetheless.

Handsome Devil definitely sound like many of their Orange County contemporaries. Their vocal delivery and content are a lot like that of Lit, but not in an annoying way. As for the music, it's good, just your basic pop-punk. Some of their songs border on kind of stupid, and at times, it's obvious that they are embracing mall punk culture, with songs like "Samurai" and the punkified power-ballad "Sorry Charlie". However, to their credit, you can hear definite influences from some of the best artists punk has ever produced, including Elvis Costello and The Jam.

I would call this album a crapshoot. Some songs like the satiric "Makin' Money" and the albums closer "Bring It On" are really good, while other songs like "Barbeque" and "Everything" are just bland. I would call this a good debut, but nothing to call the papers about yet.