Album Review: The Damned – Evil Spirits

The Damned ‘Evil Spirits’ (Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records) out Friday, April 13, 2018

Appropriately released on Friday the 13th, goth tinged British punk band The Damned return with their first new album in 10 years. The first taste of ‘Evil Spirits’ was heard on lead single ‘Standing On The Edge of Tomorrow’a song penned by frontman Dave Vanian that packs a punch and carries a memorable and catchy melody and a futuristic video, watch below.

“Devil in Disguise” is a more punk and rocking track with a prominent keyboard fill with lyrics contrasting various situations about the truth and lies. “We’re So Nice” starts with a sort of a Beatles inspired riff and seems in general to contrast the previous track, ending with a very nice guitar solo. “Look Left” is more of a rock ballad in terms of the music and lyrics, with a bridge of catchy harmonies, pretty guitar fill, and even a keyboard solo.

The title track of the album “Evil Spirits” is more traditional sounding rock song that is slightly reminiscent of Ocean Colour Scene’s “Riverboat Song” in terms of beat and instrumentation. “Shadow Evocation” opens to a more sparse sound, which quickly builds to a more cinematic rushing beat with lyrics about chasing ghosts of the past. “Sonar Deceit” reminds me of any number of catchy 80’s songs, it blends the Damned’s signature cinematic western sound with “Walking on Sunshine.”

“Procrastination” is sort of a surf-inspired rock track with synthy keyboards, making good use of the cliché of putting off today what you can do tomorrow. Trumpet sounds open the track “Daily Liar,” giving it a more dramatic feel right away. The song itself seems to be about reading or watching the news that could be untrue and has gospel sounding backing vocals and feel. “I Don’t Care” opens with just Vanian’s vocals over piano and dramatically builds to his response to people asking questions and telling lies.

For a band that’s been around since the late 70’s, this is a great album and return to form. The Damned are back and better than they’ve been in years.

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The Damned Photo: Steve Gullick
Photo: Steve Gullick

The Damned are:

David Vanian – Vocals
Captain Sensible – Guitar
Monty Oxy Moron – Keyboard
Pinch – Drums
Paul Gray – Bass

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