OF LIMBO Strike A Faustian Bargain With A “California Demon”

Australian-born brothers Jake and Luke Davies have lived in the United States, specifically Southern California, for more than ten years and are thoroughly Americanized. Their American journey, however, began in Boston when Beantown’s famed Berklee School of Music accepted Luke and he went there to study.  Jake moved to the U.S. and settled in Long Beach, California. Luke completed a couple of semesters at Berklee before Jake invited him to join him in California during a break from his studies and the trip soon turned into a musical bonanza that inspired Luke to drop out of Berklee and pair his creative energies with brother Jake.

They’ve experienced a rush of success since first forming OF LIMBO. The Davies have an obvious affinity for hard rock/metal growing out of their childhood love for bands such as Metallica and Alice In Chains, among many others, but they are far from imitators. The Southern California climate has certainly worked its way into their music, as well, evidenced by the success of recent singles such as the rambunctious “Let’s Go”. Their new single “California Demon”, however, turns their penchant for hard rock in a far more pulverizing direction.

This Faustian-inspired bit of devilry explores the theme of a starry-eyed Hollywood newcomer willing to sell their soul for fame. It’s an old tale, in some respects, with multiple antecedents in music, movies, and literature, but the Davies put their own spin on the trope. Building the song around bulldozer guitar riffing isn’t enough, however, and Of Limbo varies the arrangement with a clear focus on effective dynamics. The song alternates between light and heavy without ever striking a jarring contrast.

They achieve the same with their vocal approach. The singing wails with blood-curdling passion during the heavier sections while pulling back during the lighter intervals with a dramatic near-whisper. Swinging between these approaches accentuates the song’s theme without ever sounding cheesy or overwrought. It’s an orchestrated approach, insofar as the band’s innate sense of timing plays in their favor.

OF LIMBO eschews any unneeded displays of mock virtuosity. They are clearly gifted musicians, but the Davies brothers’ allegiance is to the song rather than grabbing spotlight moments for themselves. It helps give “California Demon” a coherence and unity that too many songs of this ilk miss. The accompanying video for the song is another high point of the single’s presentation as they utilize strong visuals, a well-tailored pace, and lurid color to promote the song. It mixes performance footage with nods and storytelling imagery in a convincing and entertaining fashion.

It’s the next rung up the ladder for OF LIMBO and a worthy addition to their growing discography. There’s no question, as well, that “California Demon” will play well for the band’s growing audience. They’ve already logged important appearances opening for bands as diverse as Wolfmother, Buckcherry, and Joyous Wolf, among others, and it isn’t inconceivable to imagine they’ll be headlining soon on the backs of hard rocking music such as this. “California Demon” checks off all the necessary boxes and sets OF LIMBO up for an increasingly glorious future. 

Gwen Waggoner