Electric Demon - The Deadvikings (Zodiac Killer Records)
They might not be Japan’s most prolific rock and roll band but The Deadvikings’ two full-length albums each pack a considerable punch. This one dates from early in their 11-year history and delivers their Hellacopters style jams in spade-loads.
The Deadvikings toured last year’s “Libertatia” in Australia - well, in Sydney - and they're back in 2018, confusingly pushing their first CD from 10 years ago. Ours is not to reason why...
"Electric Demon" has some wayward moments (the ragged "The Ripper" and the low-key opening title track, which sounds underdone) but for the most part, it's surging high-energy rock songs. They're clearly in the thrall of the 'Copters and their Scandi Rock contemporaries, but this is hardly a bad thing when done right.
The Deadvikings have a bit of groove in their songs and when it kicks in on a brash MC5-style barn-burner like "(Baby) Let's Do The Twist", it clicks. "The Song For Deadbeat" is another place where guitar pyrotechnics lock in with the pliable but powerful engine room and generate sparks. Vocalist Ken Deadviking sings in English and has a passable guitar player's voice, but his intertwining interplay with six-string partner Shogo Deadviking is where the action is.
"I Will Save Rock and Roll" sounds like a response to the Dictators - and it might just be. Ken's vocal finds its furtherest limit, but there's no mistaking the intent of the straffing guitar licks and riffs. These Western ears also love an accented lyric that celebrates "lock and loll".
It's a pity The Deadvikings' second Australian visit isn't taking them further afield than Sydney (the dates are here) because there's a broader audience for the Rock Action that they're selling, even if their level of touring doesn't pay handsomely these days. Catch them if you can and pick up a copy of this. You can grab it digitally at Bandcamp - and post-tour you might just be able to persuade them to part with a CD if they have some left.