Everyone loves demo tapes. Ask any indie wannabe in any indie hang-out what they’re doing, and they’ll tell you, either excitedly or haughtily, about the demo they’re recording with such-and-such local producer you’ve never heard of, but get the feeling you ought to have.
The phrase ‘demo tapes’ itself has so much indie-cool cachet that having one is almost better than an actual album. In truth, most demo tapes are crud: the sound grim, the songs ropey, enthusiasm overtaking craft. And yet, The Pixies‘ Come On Pilgrim is a series of demos off a C90 tape. The demo world is fraught with such confusion.
Today’s New Band, Extradition Order, have some of the most impressive demos this writer has heard for a while. In these tapes, the songs themselves are at the fore, and the time and effort put into writing them is clear.
Take Matches Meet Petrol – a rock song without a guitar shoved right under your nose; a song where jittering drums, rhythms and bottle-tapping take precedence; a song that excels, screaming, in its self-constructed arena of mania and threat. It’s as thrilling a song as you’ll have heard all week.
Or take Laura In The Winter, flooded with gothic (note: not ‘Goth’) melodrama and strange lust, the sheer attentiveness of which shows Extradition Order to be a band with their eyes fixed firmly on bigger and better things.
The Come On Pilgrim demo was released as it was, because label bosses were worried that rerecording them would detract from their impact and power. Extradition Order might well ponder the same concerns. Their demos are good. A great way to end the week – Listen here!