Considering I have a tendency towards the melodramatic, it’s really no great shock that I like a band whose name is Devastations. Devastations includes three Australians, now living in Berlin, whose recently released album Coal is both dark and seductive in a way that does resemble fellow Australian Nick Cave at times. And boy when that Conrad Standish sings, he could probably charm nuns.
Devastations started their North American tour with the unfortunate luck of having Favourite Sons, who agreed to handle arranging the musical equipment, back out on them. Some shows were canceled but Chicago was lucky enough to bear witness to both the brutality and gentleness of Devastations live. Although, I’d really like to hear live how Devastations would sound with all of the instruments on their album Coal, especially with a string section and piano that accompanies some songs, the live set they delivered had intensity that the album does not often match. Perhaps the greatest culmination of the album occurs during the song, “Take You Home.” Devastations kept up this heightened level of extreme effect almost throughout the set. Also missing were what adds a note of not so subtle beauty on Coal; the female backing vocals of Rachel Leslie and Emilie Martin. Nonetheless, the audience members remained captivated with what they did hear instead.