The Demilos – Every Door EP

The Demilos
Every Door EP

This three-song demo by Chicago’s The Demilos feels the need to skip uncontrollably during the last two minutes of the final song. I cannot help but feel that I am not the first to preview this disc. The release also has low-quality packaging that consists of painted ladybugs on a CD-R and a few concentric circles on the sleeve. The homemade insert even contains a grammar error. But, again, Every Door is only a demo, and the band should be allowed some leeway on its first unofficial effort. Still, one proofread through the insert would have picked up that error: “For info or bookings on on the demilos or related acts…”
“Every Day” opens the demo with memorable chord repetitions that, unfortunately, do not feel all that original. The song is a standard pop/rock song that could be found on a classic/modern rock station (the band’s music has appeared on Chicago’s WXRT). Really everything about “Every Day” has already been heard, along with the short, almost cheesy guitar solo toward the song’s end. Maybe the weakest song the demo has to offer, “Every Day” suffers from lack of innovation.
The lethargically country-tinged “When I Last Saw You” makes listening a little more interesting with the addition of a marimba and a lap steel (a personal favorite). The track advances at soft-rocker ballad pace. While track two may be more inspired than track one, that does not mean that I will not grow bored of it. And the lyrical content does little to hold my attention: “when I last saw you / did I say goodbye / when I last saw you / did I even try / and now thats she’s gone away / and left us here all alone / and if she saw us now / I’m sure that she’d be back home.” The mediocre vocal effects in this song make the listening experience that much more challenging.
“She felt the need to bust my balls,” sings D. Phillips just prior to the two-minute CD skip marathon. Save for the left-field lyrics, “We Disagree” is the strongest track Every Door has to offer. Too bad this listener is unable to hear half of the song. Bouncy in that Superdrag kind of way, “We Disagree” glides along with popping rock and rocking pop. I find it challenging to say more about a song that is defective, at least on this copy.
At its best, Every Door brings to mind the recent work of Frank Black (most notably Dog in the Sand) as it is on an independent label and has an almost classic rock feel. But, where Mr. Black succeeds in balancing his recent classic rock interest with his Pixie ways of old, The Demilos come across as lost. Black also has something more interesting to sing about, like Russian spaceships. Recommending this album is not easy to do when the band’s music has no clear vision. I cannot classify Every Door into a single style. Instead of blending various styles into their own, The Demilos do not know where to take their influences. The band praises such bands as The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev on their website. Yet instead of sounding even remotely like these two bands, The Demilos sound like an average, laid-back rock band. With a little direction, the band could be something more. For starters, I would change the name to Los Demilos, a drastically more ruthless band name.