We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Before they were Des Demonas, the band’s members were just a group of musician friends who came together to jam. But their musical experiments eventually congealed into songs, and those songs were compiled into set lists and albums. The band was born organically; that natural origin is reflected in their sound, which is raw, immediate, and nakedly political, with the subtlety of a protest pamphlet. At the same time, the lineup (veterans of bands like Thee Lolitas, Medications, and Suns of Guns) is so talented that every song is compulsively listenable. Des Demonas is a little too stylish to be scuzzy and too heavy for hardcore, but their attraction to righteous confrontation is pure punk. For instance, in “The South Will Never Rise Again,” lead singer Jacky Cougar Abok delivers a driving screed against racist fantasies of a resurrected Confederate States of America, his booming voice undergirded by thumping drums and rumbling guitar. On the other hand, the five-piece also has moments of acid-fried indulgence that call to mind predecessors like The Doors and Iggy Pop (see: “Psychedelic Soldier” and “Teen Stooge” from their self-titled album). The variety of styles and ideas intermingling in Des Demonas is a rare kind of alchemy, something unique that can only have come together by accident. Catch Des Demonas playing at the newly reopened Black Cat along with the venue’s actual owners and veteran bartenders, who play together as The Owners; their lineup includes members of Ex Hex and The Shirks. Doors for the show open at 8 p.m. on July 30 at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. blackcatdc.com. $15.