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DUSTDEVILS, band

DUSTdevils.

PRIMARY MEMBERS

Michael Duane,

Jaqi Dulany


HOMETOWN

Leeds, England (-1988)

New York, New York (1988-)


MOST POPULAR

Is Big Leggy?
Geek Drip
Struggling Electric & Chemical


GREATEST HITS

Hip Priest
King Woody
Mother Shipton
The Revenge of Cruiser Gurner
Seen Heat


ALSO

DUSTdevils interview

DUSTdevils at Free Music Archive


DESCRIPTION

The New York City noise-rock band DUSTdevils was led by British expatriate Michael Duane, who formed the group during the mid-1980s with Australian-born singer/bassist Jaqi Dulany. Originally based in Leeds, England, Dustdevils issued a handful of records on the Rouska label before hopping the Atlantic, where they recruited bassist Mark Ibold and drummer Reed in time to record 1989's "Is Big Leggy" single for Teen-Beat. The full-length Geek Drip followed that same year, and in 1990 the group issued Struggling Electric & Chemical. Ibold soon joined Pavement.


RELATED ARTISTS

CHA CHA COHEN (Jaqi)

DUSTDEVIL & CROW (Michael)

DUSTdevils Is Big Leggy 7-inch vinyl 45
DUSTdevils and UNREST Live at D.C. Space
DUSTdevils Struggling Electric and Chemical album
Wakefield Volume 3 album
Wakefield The Teen-Beat Boxed Set
Teen-Beat Fifth Anniversary
DUSTDEVILS, band, Jaqi Dulaney, Michael Duane

Tim, Michael, Alan, Jaqi
[L to R]
Photo by [unknown]


DUSTDEVILS, band, Jaqi Dulaney, Michael Duane

Michael, Jaqi, Reed(?), Mark
Photo by [unknown]


ALSO MEMBERS (PARTIAL LIST)

Gerard Cosloy

Jon Easley

Sasha Frere-Jones,

Mark Ibold,

James Kavoussi

Martin Kob,

Sam "Reed" Lohman,

Jackie Nemitz

Rick (?),

David Reid,

[and many many more]


ALSO

Bassist Mark Ibold later went on to join the band Pavement.


FILM


LIVE AND IN PERSON, PART ONE

DUSTdevils performing live at Toxic Shock Studio, New York, New York, July, 1991.


LIVE AND IN PERSON, PART TWO

DUSTdevils performing live at the same location and date as the film above.


BIOGRAPHY

Armed with chiming, steely, detuned guitars, DUSTdevils are drunken purveyors of a glorious, buzzing fission. If their second-generation NYC dissonance has gotten them labeled a tired, Sonic Youth-derived headache, the band's long history (stretching back to 1984), its more extensive palette of tempos and its easier-on-the-ears vocals (early on, anyway) render such dismissals unfounded. The Devils developed naturally and independently - they just had the misfortune to customize, expand upon and modify some of the same no wave-and Glenn Branca-derived themes that were Sonic Youth hallmarks.

The group's early evolutionary work attests to the Devils' authenticity and individuality. The '86-'88 releases date from a period of exile in Leeds, where British guitarist Michael Duane and Australian vocalist/guitarist Jaqi Dulany (aka Jaqui Delaney, aka Jacqui Cohen) had relocated after meeting in New York. At some point, the Wedding Present's Keith Gregory was drafted to play bass. Seeds in the Spoil and Rhenyards Grin show promise, despite some tame, tentative entries and a dated, glossy sheen that flirts with goth pop. Fierce, urgent strumming and Jaqi's panic-stricken lullabies (imagine a smacked-out Chrissie Hynde) save the day, as do less syrupy numbers like "Encient," "False Dawn" and the dazed "In Its Own Light."

Initially appearing in a toned-down version on a 1987 flexi, "Mother Shipton" was elongated into a treble-frenzied ear-shredder for the A-side of The Dropping Well EP. The deliberate emphasis on volume and harshness also suits the 12-inch's two less excessive tracks. Gutterlight further dashes inhibitions. Duane's screeching, alien chords and Jaqi's slashing-to-soaring voice infuse gorgeous, intricate songs with grit and decay, energy and exhilaration. While Sonic Youth's clang has always been pure punk rock, the Devils take brittle tumult into more sensual and fragile realms.

Created in England, shelved by Fundamental, mastered from a cassette tape and issued after a return to NYC, Geek Drip tries to duplicate its predecessor, lacking only the material and ideas to do so. The brief album suffers a mite from slow pacing and Jaqi's increasingly tuneless wail. Nevertheless, "Stripper" rattles away as menacingly as ever, and "Feeding Fat City" and "Mack" unveil daring, labyrinthine arrangements.

In 1989, Duane and Dulany found future Pavement bassist Mark Ibold and reunited with former drummer Reed (also known as Sam Lohman, who would leave for Japan and join expat Canadian lugs Nimrod). Recorded by Kramer, the smoking, less rigid Teenbeat 7-inch barrels over "Encient," two from Geek Drip (the revamped "King Woody" will kick your ass) and the all-new "Seen Heat" with an unstoppable, amphetamine rush.

Struggling, Electric and Chemical has Wharton Tiers' production and another change in percussionists. Jaqi's voice is totally shot (she speaks hoarsely rather than sings) and a few pointless sound-art experiments waste space, but the LP's highlights find the Devils in their shining prime. The anthemic intro to "Throw the Bottle Full" and the boiling coda of "The Revenge of Cruiser Gurner" catapult the quartet's songwriting and rhythmic prowess to a higher plane. A long-overdue interpretation of the Fall's "Hip Priest" swings with feedback and slop. Were it not marred by so much atmospheric filler, Struggling, Electric and Chemical would surpass Gutterlight as these veterans' studio apex.

After that notable accomplishment, all hell broke loose. Circle X/Loudspeaker drummer Martin Köb, eventual Ui head Sasha Frere-Jones, Wider leader (and Glenn Branca sideman) Dave Reid, Matador co-honcho Gerard Cosloy, and Uncle Wiggly/Fly Ashtray guitarist James Kavoussi all served time in the Devils between 1990 and '93. Jaqi and Michael split up, Jaqi split the country and Jackie Nemitz (ex-STP) briefly and inappropriately served as frontperson. Her sawdust-throated replacement, the late Jon Easley (ex-Sorry, Crown Heights), fared only slightly better. From 1984 to the 1993 Extant session, almost 50 people had backed Duane with and without Dulany. Then she returned.

The Extant 7-inch contains two surprisingly great, upbeat shearings, the less dour mood of which recalls an invigorated modernization of the Devils' Leeds-era outings. The five-track CD appends a pair of weird, useless techno-dance (!!) mixes and a painful Blue Orchids cover. Another falling out with Dulany in the mid-1990s (she reconvened with Gregory in the UK's Cha Cha Cohen) apparently ended the saga for good. Taken from a '93 flyer for a gig postponed after Jaqi beat the stuffing out of Michael, a picture inside Extant depicts the terrible twosome as England's infamous Moors Murderers. That about says it all.

- Jordan Mamone, Trouser Press


ANOTHER BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

The New York City noise-rock band DUSTdevils was led by British expatriate Michael Duane, who formed the group during the mid-1980s with Australian-born singer/bassist Jaqi Dulany. Originally based in Leeds, England, Dustdevils issued a handful of records on the Rouska label before hopping the Atlantic, where they recruited bassist Mark Ibold and drummer Reed in time to record 1989's "Is Big Leggy" single for Teen-Beat. The full-length Geek Drip followed that same year, and in 1990 the group issued Struggling Electric & Chemical. Ibold soon joined Pavement.

- Jason Ankeny, All Music

DISCOGRAPHY


SINGLES

Seeds in the Spoil
Mother Shipton
The Dropping Well
Is Big Leggy
Hit Factory


ALBUMS

Rhenyards Grin
Gutter Light
Geek Drip
Struggling Electric and Chemical
Extant


COMPILATIONS

Profane 9
Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits
Rouska's Dollar Cacophony
Rorschach Blot Test
New York Eye and Ear Control
Wakefield: Volume 3
Wakefield: The Teen-Beat Boxed Set
Matador at 21


ALSO

Teen-Beat's Fifth Anniversary


SONGS

Another Hit
As I Lay Dying
Crushed Hollow
Dirt of Days
Encient
Extant
Extreme Vagrant
False Dawn
Feeding Fat City
Feet Head High
Free Born, Man
The Freeze Whistle
Getting the Hard Hit
Grassback
Hardraugh Force
Head of Kurtz
Hip Priest
Horse
In It's Own Light
King Woody
Life Guarder
Losing Ground
The Lost Divide
Love You Like a Rock
Low Profile
Mack
Mobo Girls
Mother Shipton
Mouthfull of Stars
Nose
Ol' Seriousness
Ordinary Madness
Oyster Catcher
Pressed
Psychonaut
Pull
Real Hate Work
Receiver
The Revenge of Cruiser Gurner
Seeds in the Spoil
Seen Heat
The Skip
Slope
Stripper
They Don't Sleep 8 hrs. a Night
Throw the Bottle Full
When Gravity Hits
Whim of Iron
White temper
Young Moss Tongues