“It’s our ode to America, a country we love… a beautiful and complex place,” says singer/bassist Matthew Mercantonio of Brighton, UK-based alt-rock trio DEMOB HAPPY about their new single “Sweet & Sour America.” Released in advance of their upcoming North American tour – their first venture Stateside since 2019 – the single highlights the band’s penchant for riff-driven rhythms wrapped around Velcro-y melodic hooks. Out now via Liberator Music, “Sweet & Sour America” is an appropriately themed asset to announce their tour. “It’s about the good and bad of the country. You see a lot of things on month-long tours on the road – beautiful things and terrible things – but it always remains an enigmatic place. This is our ode to the strange dichotomy of America.”
“Sweet & Sour America” captures the band at their propulsive best. Entwined in Adam Godfrey’s minor guitar chords and Thomas Armstrong’s muscular beats, Mercantonio’s vocals dangerously swerve around the track like an Indie 500 race car driver. “The song came from a warm-up jam we’d been playing for a while,” he explains. “We didn’t want it to sound too grand. We purposefully wanted it to sound like a band playing in a little beat-up rehearsal room in the middle of some forgotten town, unsure what all the dials on their amps do and with only one inherited old half-broken guitar pedal between them. Basically, Demob in the early days!”
Heading across the Atlantic with their instruments in tow, Demob Happy will be playing a thorough run of dates, kicking off in Mexico City and traveling to New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago with numerous dates in between, including a run of shows supporting Death From Above 1979. (tour dates below)
“We’re really excited about reconnecting with a lot of the awesome fans we haven’t seen in years,” Mercantonio says. “America has always welcomed us with open arms, and we love touring the beautiful vast vistas. It’s a dream for any UK band, and this time feels no different.” On being asked to open for DFA 1979, he smiles and replies, “We’re very excited and humbled. They’ve been one of our favorite bands forever and one of the bands we bonded over in Demob’s early days. They’re heroes of ours. We’re psyched!”
With the release of their new album Divine Machines (listen here) earlier this year, Demob Happy stepped into a new era, seeing them conquer worlds previously uncharted. In January, the trio unleashed its raucous first single “Voodoo Science,” earning the covers of The Rock List and New Noise on Spotify and racking up several plays on BBC Radio 1 with Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders, with the latter stating, “it’s like Daft Punk got abandoned in the desert and found by Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age.” ‘Voodoo Science’ saw further support from Rolling Stone UK, DIY, CLASH, Dork, Upset, Official Charts and Notion. Louder Sound heralded the single one of their Tracks of The Week, which doomsday follow-up “Run Baby Run” also saw inclusion from. “Run Baby Run” additionally earned Demob their first ever BBC 6 Music play.
Since forming more than a decade ago back in their hometown, Newcastle, Demob Happy has earned every increasingly exciting career milestone through a combination of hard graft and gritty determination that would KO most bands. They’ve gigged incessantly, building on the excitement surrounding 2015 debut album Dream Soda with NME saying, “the band balance heaviness with hooks, antagonism with hedonism”, and 2018’s Holy Doom which DIY proclaimed as an “absolute stormer.” Their albums and string of knock-out singles since 2019 have seen the band amass well over 45 million collective streams.
They’ve toured the USA four times, gigged with Jack White, Band Of Skulls, Royal Blood, The Amazons (with White even inviting the band on stage to jam), opened the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, headlined London’s iconic SCALA and received critical acclaim from The Guardian, Independent, DIY, Kerrang, The Line of Best Fit, Dork, BBC Radio 1 and many more. In between all that, they’ve continued to meticulously hone the inner workings of their practice, with Matthew fine-tuning his production chops to the point where they can take everything in-house and work independently.
History has shown that a band’s third album is when shit starts to get real – their particular alchemy stamps its personality in ways that no other configuration of individuals can do, when the outside voices have been tempered and all that’s left is a perfect cocktail of confidence, skill and momentum. It’s a theory that’s been proven repeatedly, and one that Demob Happy underlines with their third album Divine Machines; one that harnesses their delicate tightrope of heaviness and melody, sweetness and riffs, and rides it up to the stratosphere.