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Devastations' 'Mistakes' Simmer and Shimmer

Devastations' Yes, U simmers and shimmers with a seductive, almost narcotic haze that nods to the band's origins in Melbourne and current residence in Europe. Think Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, if the band had relocated to artsy, dispassionate Berlin circa now.

Equal parts sin and salvation, the album reaches its noirish climax with "Mistakes." Starting with an electronic drumbeat and a dissonant squall before sliding into slow-burning funk and the dispassionate mantra of "I make mistakes," it's unclear whether the song leads down the path to temptation or the road to recovery. "It seemed like a good idea at the time," is about all the narrator offers for explanation, as the tug of war between selfish impulses and loftier desires gets played out over an irresistible groove. The motivation for human behavior may be complicated, but Devastations' members reduce it to a basic and universal truth: If it feels good, it's hard to resist. Much like "Mistakes" itself.

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Barbara Mitchell