The Damned Things exploded and burned brightly out of nowhere in 2010 with album Ironiclast, brimming with a hard rock and punk edge that was the sum of its parts so well pressed together. It rightly earned all kinds of positive reviews before everyone returned to their respective day jobs in Fall Out Boy, Everytime I Die and some little metal band by the name of Anthrax.
Having not been able to get together due to conflicting schedules for years, the time has finally come for the band to get back together and try to recapture the magic, with a new parts in the form of bassist Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio).
Things start out well enough with the immediacy of the first album as ‘Cells’ comes falling out of the speakers with a hard rock stomp and guitar tone straight from a 90s era garage grunge band, but with melodic hardcore traits. The energy continues into ‘Something Good’. The odd, jarring choir of female voices mimicking a cheer squad doesn’t sound out of the ordinary at first but would have been best avoided.
The Damned Things pull the pace back into more of a southern groove through ‘Invincible’ and ‘Omen’ before the next big stomper, ‘Carry a Brick’. ‘Storm Charmer’ sees them revel in their ability to just jam and follow where a song goes. The band leave the best for last in the punkier ‘Let Me Be (Your Girl)’ that has the same musical vibe as the opener, and ‘The Fire is Cold’ has the biggest Scott Ian stamp of everything on this album, skimming closer to metal than anything else. True to the no fucks given attitude, this is the best song on the album and perfectly closes this chapter of their history.
Overall this is still the sound of a group of individuals from differing but similar musical backgrounds just playing around and having fun. In some places it lacks the immediacy of the first album, but that came as such a surprise at the time that there was no real weight of expectation on it. Here, like it or not, you think you know what you want to hear. Thankfully The Damned Things have released one of those rare gems that doesn’t really have a bad track on it. No matter what they have tried, it has been a success.
- Something Good
- Carry a Brick
- Storm Charmer
- Young Hearts
- Keep Crawling
- Let Me Be (Your Girl)
- The Fire is Cold