CIA Bartender - 2010 - Hired Guns (Demo)
1. Hired Guns
2. Concrete Jungle Tiger
3. Burner (Live City Sounds)
CIA Bartender from Gent draws inspiration from rock n' roll's greatest, but takes that inspiration in a new direction.
This 3-song demo gives a quality view of their artistry, in the sense that it's worked on more than what I'm used to, demo-wise.
Compared to the Swedish and German sleaze we've come to love so much, and the Italian mixture of all genres that blow our stereo, CIA Bartender don't really fit the bill.
The drive and feel is there, but instead of resulting in party-hard danceable rock, you get what they describe as "Inner City Sleaze Rock". To me, upon listening, this translates as barroom (brawl) rock.
Not as easy to the ear as the poppy sleaze and glam we know, CIA Bartender, to me, seem well at home in a smoke-filled, whiskey-soaked bar in a bad part of town. Music to fight, drink or talk shit to...
"Hired Guns" is a perfect first song, opening with a powerful riff to blend into a smooth rocker with a catchy, melodic chorus. Dropping off when the climax is building, this song keeps you listening.
The next song, which is probably best heard live, is "Concrete Jungle Tiger". Swinging yet chopping due to the great contrast between rhythm and lead, with a decent solo to top it off, this track proves again that there's not really a label you can put on CIA Bartender. Talk about an abrupt ending, by the way.
"Burner" is the finisher of this too short demo. Apart from the "recorded live at City Sounds" notice on the cd cover, you wouldn't know this wasn't a studio effort. Either great engineering or plain good musicianship, "Burner" doesn't qualify as one of those typical crappy live recordings. I totally dig the opening riff and the way it's used later on in the song.
In conclusion, CIA Bartender could do with a little more power (up that distortion!) but makes up for that in songwriting skills.