I’ve always been a bit confused by the ongoing success of Devilskin. Or, should I say, I’ve not been confused as such because I think I get it. But they just seem such an unlikely band to achieve the kind of success they have.

The group were formed by bassist Paul Martin, who met singer Jennie Skulander in Hamilton and convinced her to form a new band with him. Behind the screamo vocals of Skulander, the group wrote some heavy thrash metal (imagine Disturbed crossed with Evanescence with a little Megadeth thrown in for good measure), and placed second on The Rock 1000 with their debut single in 2012 following extensive radio airplay.

None of this should be a surprise though: Paul Martin was in NZ’s most famous heavy band Knightshade (the best thing to come out of Te Puke), and had hosted a show on The Rock since 1992. Put two and two together and you can see how they landed at the top of the chart.

I’m explaining all this to show why I’ve always been a bit confused, and a bit put off, by the group. Musically, they’re all good players – and Skulander is a hell of a vocalist – and this album is fine, but the music is all just a bit bland, a bit paint-by-numbers. They’re definitely punching above their weight in terms of mainstream success. Good on them, I guess.

CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.