Lou Siffer and the Howling Demons – At Your Service Review

Lou Siffer - At Your Service 01Lou Siffer and the Howling Demons are the bastard offspring of a devil-may-care attitude and a party roaring like a room full of V8 engines. Hailing from, of all places, the blackened heart of Sweden, this band of evildoers loudly spew their volatile and contagious brand of aggressive hard rock and gruff, gasoline powered heavy metal to bring you their second full-length jammed with fast cars, horror, death and violence. At Your Service continues on from where The Devil’s Ride left off, combining the familiar influences of Chrome Division, Volbeat, Corrosion of Conformity and even The Misfits,  leaving you with a funky taste in your mouth that smacks of familiarity and a lot of devilish fun! Can Lou deliver all inclusive full service with satisfaction guaranteed?

You be the judge. “Coughin’ in my Coffin” slides in smoothly with all the grace and charm of a bulldog unleashed! The track’s full of unabashed revelry and debauchery and it is what it is –  chunky, smoky, bassy with enough brute force catchiness and masculinity to tickle my fancy in the same brash way as something Shagrath would with his Chrome Division project. The lyrics are laid back to the point of being lazy, but what the hell else did you expect from these shamelessly smoked up laggards?

After rasping and gasping his way through “Coughin’ in my Coffin”, Lou hops aboard what sounds to me like the porno “Train to Hell.” Along with “Bad Cobra,” “Action Man,” “Gasoline Queen” and “Before This Song is Sung” apart from the very obvious Chrome Division similarities, you’ll feel the influence of Volbeat’s fusion of rock ‘n roll, heavy metal and rockabilly. Variety is the name of the game, making it so hard to pigeon-hole Lou and his henchmen. Before you get too used to the idea that you’re listening to a Chrome Division Volbeat mashup, you’re out brazenly robbing graves and feeding on dead bodies with “Ghoul Party” and its quick and fiery nod to Jerry Lee Lewis and The Misfits.

Lou Siffer - At Your Service 02

K. Oz has a fun and diverse vocal style, that always leaves you with the impression he’s some kind of cocksure greasy thug. His style bounces between a forceful, crusty rasp that can only come from too many years of cigarettes, whiskey and beer in “Coughin’ in my Coffin,” gruff growls in “The Devil’s Hearse,” throaty flesh eating and razor-sharp shouts in “Gasoline Queen” and “From Below.” But it’s in “Ghoul Party” where things get really weirded out with flashbacks to the late Oderus Urungus of GWAR.

Recorded at Studio Maskinrummet in Sweden by Lawrence Mackrory (F.K.Ü. and Darkane) and mastered by Thomas Eberger of Stockholm Mastering, At Your Service has been cleverly constructed to come across as a no frills, DIY fusion of rock ‘n roll and heavy metal that should hold appeal to just about anybody looking for fist-pumping fun. Despite its appeal, the album is not without it’s faults, some tracks head dangerously close to being brickwalled and slogs like “Bad Cobra” and “Hawg Rider” grow to feel more like filler with repeated listens. And then there’s the oddity that’s “The Curse of Anubis;” I’m yet to figure that one out… It’s a bit of a head-scratcher…. For the most part though, the songs are short, packed with bassy crunch and the guitar soloing is punchy, percussive and demanding of attention. It’s the shortest tracks on the album that end up being the full-throttle stand-out moments, like “Gasoline Queen” and “C.T.A.F.H.” Check these guys out if you haven’t already.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Mighty Music
Websites: LouSifferOfficial | Facebook.com/Lou-Siffer
Release Dates: EU: 2014.08.18 | NA: 10.07.2014

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