That Handsome Devil is a Brooklyn, NY, USA band which includes Christian Oppel (aka Godforbid), Jeremy Page, Naoko Takamoto, Jeremy Siegel, Sam Merrick and Deflon Sallahr. They debuted with EP Dating Tips / How To Get Money (2004, Art & Craft) and their latest album is Your Parents Are Sellouts (Jan 2021).
Take a ride with That Handsome Devil to the other side of town: a neighborhood where Charles Bukowski hung his hat at a juke joint; where the bartender knew Hunter Thompson’s single malt of choice and kept plenty in stock. This is the place where That Handsome Devil’s front man Godforbid calls home, where producer Jeremy Page bangs on a bullet-riddled piano, its beaten keys howling from a smoky corner. A place with enough Molotov cocktails, skag, booze, and sleazy women to horrify the most hardened of old timers. A City Dressed in Dynamite is the soundtrack to this bizarre scene, and it’s pointless to fight it -just throw caution to the wind and take the ride. Put your life in the hands of your sharply dressed tour guide Godforbid, and just pray that you'll live to tell the story… or at least what you can remember.
The album starts off like a jolt of lighting with Damn Door, a dense lounge track declaring the album’s intent before tumbling into the dark, piercingly intense Wintergreen. Keeping the tempo up is the distinctive Rob the Prez-O-Dent, employing unique arrangements and an over-the-top subject matter to guarantee a lasting impression. At this point A City Dressed in Dynamite slows to a strut while limping past the hustlers and junkies in Pills for Everything. Before you can catch your breath, the upbeat stomper Cry dances carelessly towards an eerie dive into the deep end with Kiss the Cook, a disparaging tale set to Jeremy Page’s amazing arrangements.
The B-Side begins with Viva Discordia- a whimsical vaudevillian track showcasing Godforbid’s catchy rhythms and word play- then turns without skipping a beat slamming into Squares-a quirky pop song poking fun at the modern hipster. The next stop, Mexico, is a bright stumble through the foreign alleyways and dirt roads complimented perfectly by Jeremy Page’s engaging string arrangements. All the pieces of the puzzle start to expose themselves with the unveiling of Reagan’s Kids, a moody piece that opens the doors for the amazing grand finale, the bohemian ballad Treefood. This emotional conclusion is a perfect selection to be played while the curtains are closing at the opera house and the epic finale to the booze-ridden joy ride that is A City Dressed in Dynamite.