Berwanger-Demonios-CoverArtOnce a member of former Lawrence rock band The Anniversary circa the 1990s, Demonios is the latest from Josh Berwanger. The Anniversary signed to Vagrant Records in 1999 but concluded its efforts in 2004. In 2012, the Berwanger project began and eventually joined on with Kansas City label High Dive Records after its emergence in 2013 with Josh Berwanger alongside Ricky Salthouse and Brian Klein. The strength of Demonios comes from a seasoned Berwanger and dips its toe into no particular genre.

Demonios offers a country-esque “Blackheart Of Life” reminiscent of the Avett Brothers, as well as folk selections like “Her Crystal Room” and the EP’s conclusion “Lost and Found.” However, the first half of the six-song collection largely retains a punk flavor indicative of Berwanger’s past catalog.

“I think the goal in Kansas City would be to not have a sound. I don’t want High Dive to have a sound,” said Jeff McCoy, the label’s founder, in a 2015 interview with The Pitch.

Demonios is Berwanger in form, channeling his rock history on the hyper, opening track “Why Are You So Strange,” and the slick hooks and harmonies of the title track, “Demonios.” Home to Lawrence and Kansas City artists alike, Berwanger is an emerging face of the High Dive label and a re-emerging tastemaker in Midwest music.

Recommended If You Like: Wilco, Superchunk, The Anniversary, Fourth of July

Recommended Tracks: 4 (Blackheart Of Life), 2 (Demonios), 5 (Her Crystal Room)

Do Not Play: None

Written by Harrison on 01/13/16