Josh Berwanger is one of those guys that is a local legend, but doesn’t have to be local. He is not just some Kansas City kid trying to make it. When I read that he is playing somewhere I frequent, I get nervous. I mean, it’s Josh Berwanger, FROM THE ANNIVERSARY. In fact, I went to see him earlier this year at a sports bar. He played with Matt Pryor. I watched in awe, took in all of his electro-acoustic brilliance. But, sadly I was too nervous to say hello. He’s just coming off of a national tour, opening for Matt Pryor and The Get Up Kids to sold-out crowds. Kansas City is more than lucky to call him ours.
Berwanger is a fantastic guitar pop project. And Demonios is the second effort from this project, a six-song EP, being released on High Dive Records. Deservingly so, “Demonios” is the first single from this EP. This track is super catchy. Almost an update on a ‘50s-style guitar and harmony-heavy pop tune, mix in some impressive tempo changes and catchy rhymes and you’ve got yourself an instant Berwanger classic (Picture me doing the dishes and singing along “please let these dishes get done. Please let these dishes get done. They just sit around and run, they ain’t havin’ any fun. Dishes get done. Na na na na na na”).
Another favorite track from Demonios is “Cherry.” A break-up, I’m-movin’-on, fast-paced, dreamy vocal, catchy 50’s-sounding pop guitar—stuck in your head but in a great way—hit. This song, live, is so good. I dance and dream of being cha cha cha Cherry.
Onto the next track, “Blackheart,” the most interesting transition on this album. Josh takes us on a ride, from electric pop guitar and catchy sugary lyrics, to steel guitar and sad drug-infested lyrics and beautiful country harmonies. “Oh baby, you’re gonna die.” This is one of my favorite tracks of the year. I can’t get enough.
The brands of guitar on this album are contradicting yet cohesive. They complement each other like nothing I’ve really heard. It was an ambitious and daring move and after listening, you walk away fulfilled. Put it on and take a journey through tempo changes and genre jumps with Josh and his dreamy vocals.
I can’t wait to get my mitts on that beautiful purple splattered vinyl tomorrow night at Mills. Maybe I will work up the courage to shoot Josh a really smooth “Sup” and get a signature. Don’t bet on it. **Cue Garth and Wayne “WE’RE NOT WORTHY!”
Haver of sweet dance moves and stealer of t-shirts.
If you’re in the area this weekend, you have three chances to catch Berwanger:
This Emerging Artist is based in KC,
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