Here it is! RS rates the ultimate supergroup debut
This has got to be the most anticipated debut since we spilled the beans on the ‘top secret’ collective last year – in fact, had we been holding our breath we might just have expired waiting for some music! Aside from those who caught this unlikely-sounding (on paper, at least) supergroup when they hit the UK in June or have checked out the iTunes-released single ‘We’ve Got A Situation Here’, everyone who is anyone has been kept waiting to find out what the hell a band which contains members of Anthrax (Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano), Every Time I Die (Keith Buckley) and Fall Out Boy (Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley) sounds like. Well, the truth is out there – and it’s rather more easy on the ear than you might expect! However, don’t be tempted into thinking that the Anthrax axemen have slid into a comfortable pair of slippers and swapped their regular quaff for a mug of cocoa, ‘Ironiclast’ is every bit as angular and immediate as their ‘day job’ – just in a different way. Indeed, this debut reflects each of the individual members’ essence, right down to the title, which indicates frontman Buckley’s love of word play (and the gist of the group could be considered iconoclastic in the musical sense as, looking at it in scholarly terms, The Damned Things are a deconstruction of metal!) as do tracks including ‘Handbook For The Recently Deceased’ and ‘Blues Having The Blues’. From the off, it’s clear that The Damned Things mean business and opener ‘Handbook…’ will grip you immediately with all the intense and purpose of a highly contagious infection, and once it’s taken hold, there’s no stopping the bugger! And man, if you’ve never heard Buckley use his vocal chords to this end before, you’re in for a surprise – this lad can sing! ‘Handbook…’ is loaded with a hooky chorus and one hell of a swing that’ll not leave the grey matter until it’s replaced, quite conveniently by the next catchy track! ‘Bad Blood’ is classic-sounding rock which features handclaps and castanets for added tongue-in-cheek rockability, while ‘Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)’ is a blazing inferno full of sharp and scorching guitar licks and an urgency that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. In fact, there’s hardly a track on this effort that could be considered filler, and taking into account the heavy slabs of blues-tinged classic rock (erm, your dad will probably like it, too…) and meaty riffery on display throughout, all have been carefully crafted for the maximum impact. Take the short, sharp shock of the title track: two-and-a-half minutes of unadulterated grooves that’ll, quite frankly, blow your head off through riffs that feature a hint of Queens Of The Stone Age. ‘Grave Robber’ is a totally different kettle of fi sh, featuring big driving guitars and growling bass that chugs and rumbles like the engine of a heavily laden juggernaut. A damn-near perfect album – make way for your new favourite band.