Album Review: The Demon Beat “1956”

By Jess George

We’re almost a month into the New Year and I’m going to make a prediction: 2011 is going to be all about 1956. What on earth could this mean, you wonder? On New Year’s Eve, West Virginia’s esteemed trio of southern rockers, The Demon Beat, released their new album entitled 1956. This five-track masterpiece, which spans the course of about 38 minutes, is a hypnotic trip for the ears and the mind that is likely to leave you stranded in an altered state of musical bliss.

Each track, aptly titled “Movement 1” through “Movement 5”, progresses in effortless transition. This album is quite different from their last project, Shit, We’re 23, released in 2010. It has a heavier groove; it’s more haunting. It’s a stunning symbol of the growth this band has made in only a year’s time. In addition, the concept of this album focuses entirely on the unfortunate story of Carl Perkins’s missed opportunity of greater fame in 1956. Perkins was the original songwriter and performer of the tune “Blue Suede Shoes,” but a car accident rendered him unable to perform for an extended period of time. During this time, Elvis Presley recorded the song and enjoyed even greater success with the single than Perkins previously had. Heavy, right?

Guitarist/vocalist Adam Meisterhans, bassist Tucker Riggleman, and drummer Jordan Hudkins have created an album that begs to be played over and over again. The boys are currently touring the eastern portion of the country, but they will be making another trip to SXSW in Texas this March. You can find tour dates and other updates from the boys on their Facebook or their MySpace. To buy their album and check out other artists on the Big Bullet Records label, click here.