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CD: The Damned - Evil Spirits | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Damned - Evil Spirits

CD: The Damned - Evil Spirits

UK punk first wavers prove they still have plenty in the tank

Another Damned highlight

The Damned may very well be the last men standing from the first wave of UK punk – albeit with only Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible still there from the original line-up – but with their new disc they haven’t even thought of resting on their laurels and churning out endless variations on “New Rose” and “Smash It Up”. Clearly the musical heritage industry is going to have to wait awhile for them yet.

Evil Spirits is only The Damned’s 11th album in 41 years and their first since So, Who’s Paranoid? in 2008. It sees Tony Visconti take on production duties and the return of early Eighties bassist Paul Gray, and could even be said to have more in common with the band’s one-time psychedelic alter egos Naz Nomad and the Nightmares than the Bash Street Kids of Damned Damned Damned. The Captain’s lively power pop guitars and Monty Oxy Moron’s swirling psychedelic organ sounds are the order of the day with Vanian coming on like Scott Walker and Chris Farlowe, and his pipes showing no sign on wear after all these years. Indeed, from the lively beat pop of “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” through to the epic set finisher of “I Don’t Care” with its Tijuana brass trills, Evil Spirits is a masterclass in growing older without becoming lame and embarrassing. “The Devil in Disguise” and “We’re So Nice” even engage the contemporary world of politics with sarcastic stabs at the charlatans in power without sounding crass and desperate for relevance.

There is no doubt that with Evil Spirits, Dave Vanian, the Captain and their present gang of aging reprobates have crafted another sonic highlight in a catalogue that hasn’t seen many drops in quality. In fact, there’s plenty to suggest that The Damned have done more than enough to earn their place as musical national treasures for all but the most peevish of doubters.

Evil Spirits is a master class in growing older without becoming lame and embarrassing


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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