Raw, rough-edged hard rock will never sound passe to my ears. It captures the spirit of unbounded possibility and unbridled youth like no other type of music. It’s accessible, as street as any hip-hop, and makes no apologies for what it is. California’s OF LIMBO works in the best hard rock tradition and embraces it without even a hint of irony. The band, led by brothers Jake and Luke Davies, are ready to set the music world aflame with the heat radiating from their new single “California Demon”. They take the age-old tale of someone making a Faustian bargain to give up their soul in return for fame and fortune and set it down in the world’s city of dreams, Hollywood, an ideal modern location for such a story.
They tell the tale with a handful of supercharged guitar riffs and eye-popping musical shifts that blaze a trail through the listener’s consciousness. I think the Davies brothers make for an incendiary six-string tandem that eschews the typical Eddie Van Halen-esque showboating in favor of lopping your head off with one ferocious riff-driven salvo after another. The rhythm section attack sets a furious pace for the song, especially the drumming, and gives the Davies’ brothers an unshakable foundation for their playing.
Jake acts as the band’s lead singer, but Luke provides complementary backing vocals that add further dimensions to the band’s sound. Jake, however, makes for a compelling “narrator”. He throws the full weight of his voice behind OF LIMBO’s tale of a soul in peril and the eventual payoff for the character’s deal with the devil. His commitment is total. The Davies brothers likewise show keen songwriting instincts by never allowing the song to spin out of control. It’s condensed, focused, and takes no prisoners.
The band’s promo video for the song is a superb companion piece. It doesn’t stand on its own divorced from the music, it isn’t supposed to, but the band enlists the right performers to help embody the song and arresting visual imagery comports with the song’s message. It’s slathered in violent shades of red and black, full of fire, and the band’s performance interspersed throughout the clip is an excellent representation of the energy they bring to their live shows.
They are a road-tested unit. They shared the bill with first-division acts such as Wolfmother, Hinder, Candlebox, and Joyous Wolf, among others, and held their own. OF LIMBO are amassing a powerful discography one piece at a time and the string of hard-hitting singles they already have to their credit ensures they have a live set capable of throttling even the most skeptical concert attendee.
Consider me a believer. I’ve seen the future of hard rock and OF LIMBO ready to stand at the vanguard of its tomorrow. This is a band with staying power, no flash in the pan, and I expect that their already stellar songwriting acumen will continue growing with each new release. “California Demon” shows they are ready for the widest possible audience.