Damn Vandals – Rocket Out Of London

dv

It is fair to say that psyche rockers Damn Vandals swiftly set themselves a place in British rock as one of the most exhilarating and promising propositions with their 2012 debut album, Done For Desire. It was an encounter drenched in originality and a feverishly diverse flavouring setting the band apart from most. To confirm and stretch all of its potency within a new mentally twisting maelstrom of psychotic goodness, the London band now unleash the senses infestation that is Rocket Out Of London. It is a glorious swagger of caustic abrasion and acidic ingenuity honed from a brawling incitement of garage punk, psyche and stoner rock, as well as a vein of raw punk, simply put demented rock ‘n’ roll at its most addictive.

As for a great many, our admittedly eager affair with Damn Vandals began with the release of their Beautiful Mind EP, a widely acclaimed encounter awakening attention and appetite for the potential and instantly impressive presence of the band. The release and subsequent songs though was only the taster for bigger and major things to come, Done For Desire thrusting the quartet to new levels and into a richer spotlight with its release. Uncompromising but with a contagion to its presence which works under the skin like a welcome niggling itch, the band’s sound has found a new depth and power to its virulence with the new release whilst still retaining the raw dark textures and unhinged threat which stirred up the passions so quickly upon their emergence. As evidenced by Rocket Out Of London, it has become a twisting intrusive beast which wraps with almost insidious intent around the ears, permeating every pore and synapse with an exhaustive toxicity which simply ignites the imagination and passions. Produced by Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) as was its predecessor, the album takes the listener on a dirty and intimidatingly shadowed ride through explorations of themes such as celebrity stalking, hard liquor, death by dreams, madness and homeland security amongst many but ultimately just through the creative mad ingenuity of the band.

The album opens with the first single uncaged from its wonderful aural rapaciousness, Twist Up And Tangle. Released mid-March, the dv coversong laid down the strongest bait for the full-length and still holds its intensive grip with an epidemic bait of granite sculpted rhythmic punches and scything sonic swipes of guitar. From its first second the song is an inescapable cage for the senses and emotions, a scarring provocation soon given richer fuel by the ever distinct and voraciously delivered vocals of Jack Kansas. The track is swiftly into a predatory stride, prowling around the ears with a sonically slavering intensity from the guitar of Frank Pick and the dark throated voice of bass held in rein by Adam Kilemore Gardens but still adding commanding menace to the whole of the psychotic fare. It is a masterful and insatiable stalking driven by the magnetic beats of Chris Christianson, but one which with its spewing discord and melodic flames as well as corrosive hooks and breath, provides a raucous dance to shield the fact we are being preyed upon.

Like a mix of Fatima Mansions meets The Birthday Party, the opener alone wakes a hunger to which the following Cities Of A Plastic World adds its own imaginative virulence. The track opens with a rhythmic drama speared by a ridiculously contagious hook, its abrasing hot touch a niggling pleasure just hard to get enough of. Around its tempting Kansas again parades the song’s narrative with unbridled expression whilst the guitar of Pick continuously lights up new corners and adventures to court his primary enticement with skill and enterprise, the album easily his finest inventive and moment yet, as it is of the band itself. The track sculpts another immediate pinnacle in the impending lofty range of the album and is soon equalled by Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live, a sultry stroll with a citrus edge to its grooves and melodic teasing. There is a definite lick of Queens Of The Stone Age initially and Eagles of Death Metal later to its constant erosive taste and hypnotic stance.

I Bring You Love which made up part of the earlier mentioned single keeps the album coursing potently through the body, its psychobilly/Cajun swamp-esque stomp with sliding toxic mesmerism and blues bred frisking irresistible. The track just gets better and more virulent with every crossing of its red-neck terrain with dirty violating rock ‘n’ roll scenery. With more than a feel of Screaming Blue Messiahs to it and always an essence of the previously mentioned Cathal Coughlan led band to the presence of Damn Vandals, the track is a delicious lingering antagonist to unreservedly submit to.

Both Number One Fan and Whisky Going Free provide a new mischief to fully devote attention and passions to, the first merging classic and incendiary garage rock for a rampaging stomp built upon the intensive frame work of Christianson, a cage again laced with riveting guitar revelry and craft. Its successor sidles boisterously up to the ears with tight sinews and deviously coaxing addictive grooves, the track a less expansive dark tango than say the last but with a no less leaner determination in its air and voice to seduce and inflame the passions, which it does with ease.

The following I Hate School hits the spot perfectly but lacks the spark of other tracks, a familiarity and somewhat predictable essence to its body slipping up against the surrounding triumphs. To put it into context though, with absorbing blues/psychedelically teased guitar invention from Pick and a certain unavoidable catchiness to its lure, the song still has feet and emotions fully engaged before next up Mad As Hell takes them on a similarly successful and potent ride, if again without quite matching earlier heady heights. The track rumbles and strolls with attitude and a thought immersing design all the same to keep the fire for the album burning eagerly.

The closing pair of tracks takes the release back to its highest plateaus, the first This Music Blows My Tiny Mind, another incitement with the stance of a predator and the drive of a volcanic eruption expelling sizzling melodic flames, searing hooks, and climactic rhythms building to a quite scintillating final drama. Its successor, the title track brings the album to a glorious closure, its addiction forging rhythmic slavery and scorching guitar endeavour an inescapable virulence guided as masterly as ever by the gripping tones of Kansas. Like a mix of QOTSA, Julian Cope, and Rocket From The Crypt, the track is a brilliant finale to a quite outstanding taking of the soul.

Rocket Over London with ease reveals that Damn Vandals is no longer the potential future of certainly raw British rock ‘n’ roll and garage punk but the template.

http://www.damnvandals.co.uk

http://damnvandals.bandcamp.com/album/rocket-out-of-london

9.5/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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Damn Vandals – Twist Up And Tangle

 

Marcus Maschwitz Photography 2012

Marcus Maschwitz Photography 2012

    Ahead of their new album, the highly anticipated Rocket Out Of London, UK sonic rock ‘n’ rollers Damn Vandals release new single Twist Up And Tangle. It is a manipulative little treat which brings the brilliance of debut album Done For Desire into an equally masterful but even more psychotically honed sound. It is a feverishly tasty temptation for what the new full-length is likely to offer; actually having heard the upcoming beast of a release, look out for a review soon, it is a very accurate indication of the triumph waiting in the wings.

     Damn Vandals has developed into one of the UK’s most ferociously compelling and ingeniously contagious rock protagonists since making their early bow with the widely acclaimed and remarkably masterful Beautiful Mind EP. With surrounding encounters and songs leading into the outstanding Done For Desire album, the London quartet announced themselves as an uncompromising and highly addictive proposition. Lyrically and musically sharp, their sound with its additionally earthy and raw breath consistently made an easy capture of the imagination and passions upon their debut, its stirring qualities built upon riotously incendiary live performances which also have earned the band a mighty reputation. Recorded with produced by Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) as the previous release, Twist Up And Tangle and the upcoming Rocket Out Of London take all the recognised potent elements of the band on a dirtier, darker, and more intensive exploration.

     Twist Up And Tangle lurches into the ears with heavy punching beats and sonic scythes of raw scuzz kissed guitar, both coverthrusting the song forcibly and magnetically upon the senses. It is a scarring introduction which is soon riled up further by the excellent distinctive tones of Jack Kansas, his delivery as ever rigorously expressive and voraciously attention grabbing, much like the surrounding sounds. Soon into its sinew flexing stride, the track is prowling and bruising with every swerve and leap of its caustic dance. The track is a predator, but one offering rich infectious bait which seduces and romances the primal instincts within. The guitar of Frank Pick alone is sheer magnetism, his cutting riffs and sonic toxicity right through to a synapse scorching solo insatiably addictive and matched in aural kind by the throaty rapacious tones of Adam Kilemore Gardens’ bass and the wickedly intrusive rhythms of drummer Chris Christianson, not forgetting the persistent vocal devilry of Kansas. Like Fatima Mansions meets The Birthday Party at a demonically cast liquor orgy, the song is one of those corruptive pleasures which sets the heart and year ablaze.

    It is not alone though as its partner in crime I Bring You Love is equally as insidiously addictive. Merging psychobilly and dark Cajun licks within its dirty swamp of heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll, the song is a commanding drama reeking incitement with a swagger and dark hearted narrative to match. Pick again simply mesmerises as his riffs and slide guitar spawned hooks lustfully fondle your naughty bits whilst Kansas encourages the exciting violation with another expulsion of gruff syllables and angst kissed enticement. With rhythms that robustly resonate in bone and thoughts, the track is a riveting teaser for the album ahead and supplier of another bulky slab of pleasure.

    Released as the album through Sexy Beast, Twist Up And Tangle leaves the passions basking. It is a must have appetiser for the sure to be confirmation of the new Kings of British rock ‘n’ roll through their new album.

Twist Up And Tangle is released march 17th with Rocket Out Of London uncaged April 7th.

10/10

www.damnvandals.co.uk

RingMaster 16/03/2014

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Damn Vandals: Done For Desire

pic Marcus Maschwitz

Anticipation for the debut album from UK rock band Damn Vandals was on a real high after their widely acclaimed Beautiful Mind EP earlier in the year. Could the band match or even improve on what was a remarkable release? Quite simply the band has not only stepped on from the release but to our mind they have with Done For Desire blown it out of the water. The release is a certain front runner for album of the year and is destined for classic status once its might and sheer excellence dawns on the music world.

The London based quartet of vocalist Jack Kansas, guitarist Frank Pick, bassist Adam Kilemore Gardens, and Chris Christianson on drums, has pulled in comparisons which range from Echo and the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, Pavement, and he band has been suggested as the English version of Queens of The Stone Age. As Done For Desire sent surges of euphoria through the heart with each and every song though the main thought for us was that surely Damn Vandals are the reincarnation of the Fatima Mansions. With the same sharp and imaginative craft lyrically and musically as the outstanding Irish band Damn Vandals add to the carefully shaped caustic and ingenious breath the irresistible addictive hooks of a Teardrop Explodes and the earnest incisive passion found in the previously mentioned Echo and the Bunnymen. This makes for stunning songs and sounds which trigger the fullest thrills and evoke the deepest pleasure whilst vocally Kansas, his voice a glorious hybrid of Cathal Coughlan, Pete Wylie, and Ian McCulloch, adds emotive tones drawn from deep within his heart to wonderfully ignite the already impressive lyrical invention.

Produced by Julian Simmons (Midlake, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, and Goldheart Assembly), Done For Desire immediately leaves one breathless with excitement through opener Revolution / Rehearsal. The lead single from the album leaps upon the ear with slashes of guitar and a bass which prowls the tune like a wolf licking its lips. As Kansas asks questions and provokes with razor sharp lyrics through his impassioned vocals the track boils the air with high voltage energy and scorched melodic strokes to trigger aural addiction, something the album eagerly and persistently builds upon.

The following As Seen On TV bristles with electrified rock intensity whilst again the bass of Kilemore Gardens invites tingles with its dark and burly tones. There is a slight Max Raptor feel to the song and alongside its predecessor the song soon unveils a thrilling diversity within the music of Damn Vandals.

As the likes of the provocative Kids Want Guns and the darkly wanton Sex It Narcissus tease and throb within the ear there is nothing but compliance before the mesmeric presence of the band. The second of the pair takes one on an edge of the seat journey through shadows and a hugely charged musical imagination as potent as it is impassioned.

Though every track is a masterpiece the brilliance of This Amazing and The Revenge Of Spider Toothy hold the heart with an orgasmic power. The first swerves and sways with deliberate mischief within its pulsating energy and the perfectly gathered siren driven hooks and melodies. The track ignites the atmosphere with such fiery enterprise and rhythmic hypnotism brought with immense skill it is hard to see why the song as a single a while ago did not see the band instantly elevated to essential listening.

The second of the pair is a brilliant blend of garage punk and psychobilly. Sounding like the secret offspring from a union of The Cramps, The Horrors in their formative years and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, The Revenge Of Spider Toothy stomps over the senses with sheer majesty. The guitar of Pick always outstanding throughout the album leaves trails of flames with his magnificent play on this song whilst the drums of Christianson stalk the ear like a caged animal.

Closing track Beautiful Mind taken from the previous acclaimed EP makes an end as irresistible as the beginning of the album. It swirls around and through the ear like a stunning sunset of sound, its heated magnetism leaving one bursting to the seams with adoration for it and the release as a whole. As much as one looked there is not a single element which the band can be pulled up on within Done For Desire, it is as near to perfection as one can get. If this does not make Damn Vandals one of the biggest presences in UK music then something is seriously wrong with the judgement of people.

Ringmaster 26/07/2012

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