After eighteen years of fronting the pioneering industrial rock band Sister Machine Gun, Chris Randall has returned to his roots with the release of The Devil His Due
, his first solo album. The Devil His Due
recalls the traditional American styles of blues, early jazz, and vaudeville, mixed together with the dark, foreboding feel that Randall is known for. While there is obvious homage to the alternative blues of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, and even the klangmusik of Einstuerzende Neubauten, Randall creates an altogether different result, one that reflects his own life and musical skills.
Born in 1968 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in rural Oregon, Chris Randall's first twenty years in this world were a haze of sagebrush and poverty. He moved to New York City in 1988, and formed Sister Machine Gun in 1989. Soon relocating to Chicago, he spent nearly two decades pushing against the boundaries of the industrial genre, receiving wide praise (and healthy criticism as well, it should be noted) for introducing jazz and blues elements in to that somewhat limited form of expression. With seven Sister Machine Gun albums, four EPs, and countless singles under his belt, along with production and artist credits on over 60 other releases, Randall felt it was finally time to explore new musical territory in areas closer to his personal tastes, and The Devil His Due
The Devil His Due
was written and recorded over a two-year period entirely in Randall's own Shaolin Fist Of Death studio, following his move back to rural Oregon in 2005. Performed partly on homemade or found instruments, the album is a complete sonic about-face from Randall's earlier work, yet it maintains the writing style he is already known for. Events in Randall's life provide the fodder, and he created a colorful cast of characters to act out the drama in the songs. The album has a fluid story, yet each song tells its own version of the classic Faustian bargain. From the opening count-off of "Judas Iscariot" to the final romping jump-blues of "It's All The Same In the Nighttime," The Devil His Due
is both an exploration of traditional music styles and an entirely new form of expression.