Back to Forever
With Back to Forever, singer/songwriter Lissie takes a nice step forward in her artistry. Though it forsakes a bit of the rough and tumble charm of her previous releases — most notably Catching a Tiger — this effort feels more consistent both in tone and content. And it’s Lissie, so there is still plenty of edge — it’s just a more refined, more purposeful cunning, rather than the brash cutting of records past. Maybe that’s the Ojai effect in full force, or maybe it’s the natural course of maturing in action. Regardless of the cause, the result is a collection of 12 solid tunes brought to life by one of the most interesting voices to emerge in the past few years. Back to Forever doesn’t seem to have one obvious stand-out track that warrants mentioning or repeat playing. Instead, the whole record deserves to be on a loop until it soaks all the way in. — Kelly McCartney
Albeit buried beneath forced harmonies, ostentatious guitar solos, lyrics such as “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m the Devil” and a plethora of campy black magick references à la black metal pioneers Venom, there is actually something oddly pleasing about Night Demon’s debut EP. It’s bombastic, it’s gritty and it’s rapidly gaining attention from New Wave of British Heavy Metal revivalists and Doc Marten-sporting heshers across the globe. Yes, there are catchy riffs aplenty, but are they the same catchy riffs made popular 25 years ago by bands like Ratt and W.A.S.P? Yes, they are. And judging by the technical ability demonstrated on this EP, Night Demon can and should be doing better. It’s important to remember that this is Night Demon’s first release, and it will be interesting to see the band’s progression, but right now they’re playing the role of Ventura’s Steel Panther when they could be Ventura’s Iron Maiden.
— Bennett Cornell