The Damned Things; made up from Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Fall Out Boy’s Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley, Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley, and recent addition to the line-up Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano, are back with a vengeance bringing forth their second full length album.
Having formed as a supergroup in 2009 they burst onto the scene and brought a bit of goodness from each of their respective bands, touring for 3 years before disappearing into the shadows. Now they are back with ‘High Crimes,’ their highly sought after second release and I’m lucky enough to give it a round to let you know how well it rolls!
It doesn’t take long for the band to burst into the first track Cells with strong vocals from Buckley, climbing along with the bashing drums from Hurley. Through a slightly repetitive yet catchy tune, the band capitalize on their ability to change things up a bit and give a very solid amount of time to guitar solos, which were epic as usual!
“Y-E-L-L, all of my friends are going to hell” opens the second song Something Good alongside a scratchy guitar riff. Then it bursts into a very pop-happy drum beat. You can definitely hear the country influence from the band members in this one, which is emphasized with cowbells. It very much reminded me of the intro Bring Me The Horizon’s That’s the Spirit.
Invincible slowed things down a bit with a classic hard-rock sound, connecting more with the audience on an emotional level rather than the usual heavier sound they produce. This was the first song that showed how much of an impact Andriano has when writing and performing music.
Big Muse vibes from Omen providing some genuinely cool slow solos and duel guitars. Mixing that with the dirty vocals from Buckley and it delivered a catchy song with depth. While Omen was a fair bit slower than the first couple on the album, Carry a Brick was the complete opposite. Fast paced drums alongside heavy riffs to suit brought a stand still room to life.
Opening with a weird keys intro that went into an off timed bass bop, Storm Charmer didn’t fully grasp my attention as well as the others. While the tune itself wasn’t horrible, nothing really stood out in the song and it definitely sounded very (Uprising Era Muse) orientated.
Young Hearts put things back in good spirit with the song sounding similar to in form Wolmother and their song Joker and the Thief. With a quick yet proficient tune, they connected much better with this one. It almost sounded like a battle song you’d here in old times or down in the underground illegal fight clubs.
While they did slow things back down a bit, they didn’t lose sight of the goal to impress audiences out there, especially since Keep Crawling brought the slow-heavy mosh tunes to the table. Definitely a favourite of mine from the album.
Closing out the album with two fast paced bangers (which included brief blast beats) Let Me Be (Your Girl) and The Fire is Cold showed that members of four bands who cover very different genres of rock/metal can come together and create something magical. With a push to showcase each area in the band, the bass was evidently there as was the duelling guitars.
Coming together as a band and creating music is a mission in itself but bringing people together from different bands to make not one but now two full lengths albums, usually it’d be sceptical… but somehow, someway this works and has definitely got what every fan from the debut album loved with a couple of extras to go with it.
I’d be keeping an eye out for a potential Australian tour on the horizon, as this album is fire!
Pre-Order The album HERE.