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DEMONS Sign with Spartan Records; Releasing Debut EP ‘Great Dismal’ on June 16

DEMONS Sign with Spartan Records; Releasing Debut EP ‘Great Dismal’ on June 163

Demons, a Virginia Beach-based musical project started by longtime
Mae guitarist Zach Gehring, has signed with Spartan Records.

The label will release the band’s 6-song debut EP Great Dismal on June
is available for pre-order now here and here on limited edition 12" silk-screened vinyl and as a
digital download. All pre-orders come with an instant download of the song
“Parallel Lines.

Check out the teaser here.

Decidedly heavier and more aggressive than previous projects, Demons
stylistic cues from the likes of many influential bands that have
shaped Gehring
as a musician. Traces of Spiritualized, Pedro The Lion, The
Afghan Whigs, and
Mudhoney can be found throughout the EP; however, that
list hardly registers as any type of "recommended if you like” touchstone. The
strength of the EP is the sum of its inspired parts, not its function as a sonic
homage or tribute.



Spartan Records


1. There Is No Reward

2. Lenora Slaughter

3. Godless Girls

4. Radical Cure

5. Parallel Lines

6. Quietly Waiting


While the untangling of duality – awe and anguish, faith and fraud,
hope and
horror – is hardly a new artistic exercise, such rich questioning
is rarely
attempted in the form of an entirely-accessible six song EP.
Performing the
duties of both architect and builder, Zach Gehring (of
beloved Virginia-based Mae acclaim) has designed an exorcism vehicle, the
aptly-titled moniker Demons, and allowed often-at-odds voices the opportunity to
speak. The result is Great Dismal, an oxymoronic battle of declarations,
withholdings, distortion, and clarity – – a tussle of the psyche examined
through opposing dynamics.

Considering the past, present, and future success of Mae (four
highly-revered full length records, three EP’s, and over half a million records
sold), it is fair to
question Gehring’s motives in pursuing a new project
now. In his own words,
“over the years it’s just been a nagging desire. I’d
dismiss it for periods of time,
but then it would come back to me. I wanted
to see if I could do it. I knew I had
ideas and a desire to give some sort
of voice to them, also, and most crucially,
they were not ideas that could
be developed in Mae,” says Gehring. “I wanted to
do something harder, less
crafted, something more abrasive. Conceptually, or
lyrically, I was more
interested in problematizing myself and throwing tacks on
the road, so to

“Tacks on the road” becomes an increasingly appropriate metaphor as
Dismal plays out. Moments of sonic accessibility lose footing and
spiral into
heavy and brooding responses with little warning, Gehring’s
fragile vocals
transition into angst-ridden bellows, and words from the same
speaker argue
back and forth across the tracklisting:

“Some things are better left unsaid –left wild, violent, raging,
deep inside your
head” (“Lenora Slaughter”) // “I pray to God, I won’t do
you no harm, and that
you find rest in my helpless thin arms” (“Quietly

Conceptually, “the name of the project, ‘Demons,’ comes from a Fyodor

Dostoevsky novel of the same title,” says Gehring, “although, my reason for

going with that for the name is because I feel it’s something we all have in

common. Maybe not so necessarily sinister, but this alternate, more
or complicated portion of our personality – a side people don’t
always like to
recognize in themselves. The title Great Dismal is taken from
a local swamp in
southeast Virginia. I think it succinctly describes my
worldview right now, kind of a combination of awe and anxiety. It’s both
expressive and reflective.”

“The main undercurrent was just a curiosity to see if I could do
this. Demons is an experiment in a true sense of the word,” say Gehring. “The
music isn’t
experimental at all, but the process, me writing songs and
singing, was always
understood as an experiment. There are these narratives
of creativity, art, and
expression, and they are sometimes at odds with each
other. I think everyone
has something they want to express, and I wanted to
overcome any obstacles
that would potentially prevent me from doing so. I
wanted to try to eliminate selfdoubt, fear, and any pre-conceived notions what
songs should sound like and find a reason to create something new in an
environment that is both over
saturated and begging for more.”

And what was that reason?

“For me,” says Gehring, “that reason was simply that I had something
I needed to explore, both as it relates to my creativity and deeper anxieties
that stemmed
from this abundance of opinions and seemingly sourceless,
floating frustrations I constantly felt and still do.”

Upon first glance, the urgency of Great Dismal can be misunderstood
as a sole
tone of disparity; however, after repeated listens, other thematic
motifs become
more pronounced – threads of meaning that, in retrospect,
Gehring describes as “tempered hope, humility, and critical self-awareness.” By
allowing these
conflicting voices to speak, Gehring has begun to exorcise
his own demons in an attempt to pave a road toward a more tangible sense of
clarity, understanding, and faith – on the other side, those on the same
journey will find solace in his courage to press “record” during the



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About Joseph Timmons (9898 Articles)
I am the Father of 5 and a "Would Be Philosopher of Idiocy" - Author and Writer for several Blogs and Online Magazine. Review Journalist, Musician and Audio Buff. Follow Me and I'm Sure to Entertain.

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