The Devil

Ben Wallers, the enigmatic frontman of Country Teasers, has been keeping somewhat of a low profile of late. Which is unusual. For the past two decades, Wallers has made a name in certain circles for his belligerent and ironic lyrics, soundtracked by songs that are jittery and left of left-of-center—both with the Teasers and as The Rebel. Supposedly, The Devil has been kicking around for some 10 years now, and they’ve finally gotten around to releasing their first record. The trio, which includes Wallers’ wife Sophie Politowicz and James Sedwards, sounds like a natural extension of Country Teasers. Guitars are up front—whether they’re going for maximum dissonance (“Michael and Jean”), metal up yer arse (“The Throne”), or rockabilly riffing (“Silent Roar”). Wallers’ lyrics are difficult to make out at times, sometimes just lurking beneath the noise for effect. But they’re loud and clear in what is the album’s biggest surprise—a desert blues take on an obscure Kool Keith track, “Girls Want You.” It’s loaded with sexual imagery, and it’ll make you wonder where Kool Keith leaves off and The Devil takes over. Which is part of what has always made Wallers such a li’l devil.