Thursday 7 June 2018

Album Review: THE DAMNED - Evil Spirits

The Damned - Evil Spirits

01. Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow
02. Devil In Disguise
03. We're So Nice
04. Look Left
05. Evil Spirits
06. Shadow Evocation
07. Sonar Deceit
08. Procrastination
09. Daily Liar
10. I Don't Care

Punk legends The Damned are back with their first album in ten years. I'm aware that this record broke into the mainstream charts recently, and I've heard a lot of hype surrounding it, so I thought I'd check it out.

I've always liked The Damned, but I've never been a super-fan or anything. I have at least three friends who cite them as their ultimate favourite band though, so they're clearly doing something right! I first heard The Damned on the comedy show The Young Ones many moons ago, and then again on the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack which caught my attention. I have a couple of their albums, so I was interested to hear what they're doing now.

Evil Spirits is very good indeed. It has an amazing production which is very 'retro' but without sounding dated. It suits these songs perfectly. There's plenty of politically charged rage and disaffection in the lyrics, all delivered with David Vanian's unique crooning, giving the songs a wealth of character. Musically, I can hear more influences from bands like The Who, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones, than their riotus Punk roots from 40 years ago.

My personal favourites are the reflective psychadelic opener Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow, and We're So Nice, with its wonderfully caustic cynicism regarding the meddling of 'modern day empires'.

It's easy to understand why long-term fans of The Damned are so thrilled by Evil Spirits. It captures the elements that made people love them in the first place, and presents them in a modern context. It's very much a legit chapter in their legacy as opposed to an attempt to capture and re-sell the past. Other bands in their twilight years need to take note!


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