Published Apr 24, 2019Much to everyone's surprise, supergroup the Damned Things have reformed, having initially disbanded seven years ago. The unexpected move was announced earlier this year when the band revealed details of new album, High Crimes, and a supporting tour to boot.
The band also introduced a slightly altered lineup, bringing in Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio in lieu of Rob Caggiano (ex-Anthrax) and Josh Newton (ex-Every Time I Die).
On paper, the lineup for the Damned Things is odd, but intriguing — the sum of Every Time I Die, Fall Out Boy, Anthrax and Alkaline Trio — yet the result is surprisingly well-balanced.
Their 2010 debut, Ironiclast, was very much an old-school rock'n'roll record, heavily influenced by the band's hardcore and thrash metal roots. The album walked the line between rock and metal, appealing to a wide audience and even garnering critical acclaim, often being referred to as a modern take on classic rock.
If that were true then, it is especially so now. High Crimes features all of the classic rock styling, while having further contemporized their sound. Fall Out Boy's pop radio influence is apparent on High Crimes without compromising the Damned Thing's hard rock sound.
"Something Good" starts off with a cheerleader-led group chant, complete with a basic clapping pattern and spelling out words, but the effect is surprisingly badass and not at all cheesy.
The Damned Things also experiment with some synths on this record, but at no point is it distracting, nor does it overshadow any of the guitar work; the album is still very much riff-driven and guitar-based.
If you're looking at the members' names on paper and expecting a barn-burner of a record, you may be disappointed, as the Damned Things explore a more alt side of rock'n'roll on High Crimes. One thing you can be certain of, however, is that the music is as intriguing as its unorthodox lineup would suggest. (Nuclear Blast)