Damn Vandals – I Hate School/Whisky Going Free

Damn Vandals_I Hate School_Packshot_RingMaster Review

News of any new Damn Vandals release always sparks a keen lick of the lips and a flutter of anticipation in the heart of The RR thanks to the band’s previous explosive roars of spiky rock ‘n’ roll posing as singles and albums. So no surprise that when the announcement of the UK rockers new single came through, the same reaction escaped. Consisting of I Hate School backed by Whisky Going Free, the release is a recognisable Damn Vandals stomp with the unapologetic attitude and fiery enterprise the London quartet is so renowned for.

At times it is hard to imagine that it is only back in 2012 that Damn Vandals started exciting ears with the release of the Beautiful Mind EP and soon after debut album Done For Desire, the band seeming to have incited ears for many more years. Each release made quick and potent impressions with the latter spawning a host of essential and thrilling singles luring as rich a dose of acclaim as the album sparked itself. Live the band’s hook loaded mix of garage, psych punk, and earthy rock ‘n’ roll has equally earned the band a big reputation and fiercely loyal following, a success only cemented and expanded with last year’s uncaging of second album Rocket Out Of London, it another web of contagiously addictive tracks working within the impressive body of the album or subsequently alone as incendiary singles. The two songs making up the new single have the same source, both I Hate School and Whisky Going Free taken from the Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) produced, heavily praised full-length, and each rising to the challenge of making singular statements of persuasion.

I Hate School swings in on a sultry melodic lure and winy groove as vocalist Jack Kansas quickly adds his distinctive delivery and tone. As his voice takes hold so he and fellow guitarist Frank Pick continue that first enticement with fingers on guitar strings, but broadening its thickness with bluesy coatings for an increasingly tempting invitation. Alongside, the more grounded rhythms of bassist Adam Kilemore Gardens and drummer Chris Christianson stroll, emphasizing and shadowing the fiery textures around them perfectly.

Within the heart of Rocket Out Of London, it is fair to say that the song was a touch shaded by the more raucous dynamics and drama of other tracks around it but there is no denying that as a single, it seems to discover a new strength and character to bewitch and inflame ears with ease. Ending on a persuasive anthem of vocal roar from Kansas, again at perfect contrast to the smouldering sonic climate of guitar, the track has ears smiling and satisfaction full to bursting.

Second song Whisky Going Free has feet tapping and hips swaying within a breath of its start, hooks and grooves flirting like a casually flirtatious seductress as rhythms bring their own saucy revelry to the creative party. Bass and guitar soon unite in a tango which drives the song from start to finish, their tempting enticing cradling the matching swagger which too come from the breeding of imagination and temptation. Steely guitar jangles and punk seeded noise only adds to the thick and riveting persuasion on offer, the song undiluted and unfussy rock ‘n’ roll as inventive and instinctively compelling as anything out there and from anyone.

Whilst fans wait for new material, I Hate School/Whisky Going Free provides another essential Damn Vandals moment for 2015 whilst for newcomers, the single is a potent way to step into the creative and off-kilter ingenuity of Damn Vandals.

I Hate School/Whisky Going Free will be released November 6th.

https://www.facebook.com/damnvandals  http://damnvandals.co.uk  https://twitter.com/DamnVandals

Upcoming Live Show: The Dublin Castle, London on Fri 27 Nov 2015.

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2015

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Damn Vandals – Mad As Hell

Coverart_Damn Vandals_Mad As Hell

The British rock scene is not short on some rather exciting prospects and artists right now, bands which are stripping away its current landscape to create new primal and instinctively imaginative adventures. To the front of these propositions for the past few years, certainly since the release of their debut album Done For Desire in 2012 is Londoners Damn Vandals. They are the source of raw and aggressively inventive rock ‘n’ roll which seems to increase in virulence and creative rigour across every release, a success proven and reinforced once again by the band’s new single Mad As Hell. It is trade mark Damn Vandals yet again finds the band pushing new twists of sound and enterprise whilst providing another heady temptation into their warped sonic world for all newcomers.

Mad As Hell and its B-side, This Music Blows My Tiny Mind, both come from the band’s second album Rocket Out Of London, which as its predecessor was no stranger to widespread acclaim. In fact all Damn Vandal releases earn eager praise and it is hard not to suspect Mad As Hell doing the same. From an opening muscle bound grouchy bassline, the song has ears and attention firmly gripped ready for the distinctive and highly expressive tones of vocalist Jack Kansas. Just as swiftly his and Frank Pick’s guitars are weaving their flaming sonic seducing, a temptation ripe with spicy blues flavouring within a climate which shimmers and sizzles with melodic drama and fiery enterprise. Right away impressive on the album, the song has grown in stature and persuasive weight over time and now as a single, Mad As Hell sets the imagination and emotions sparking with pleasure. Within the embrace of the whole stunning full-length, its potency as a single initially might have been questioned but any doubts are soon tossed aside as the song revels in its spotlight proving that Rocket Out Of London in many ways is nothing but potential singles and essential slabs of rock ‘n’ roll.

The irresistible rhythmic frame of the single, cast by bassist Adam Kilemore Gardens and drummer Chris Christianson, is emulated in the equally contagious success of This Music Blows My Tiny Mind. Stretched sinews drive an even paced gait loaded with thick drum swipes and throaty bass riffs as vocals and guitars flirt with their caustic swagger. Littered with abrasing hooks and dirty melodies, the song is soon immersing ears into a unique tapestry of garage punk, psyche and raw punk with a stoner-esque tang, and swiftly infesting senses and psyche like a sonic virus. Charmingly psychotic and addictively feverish, the song is a creative brawl which again is only the strongest enticement into the ingenuity of Damn Vandals.

If you have yet to discover the quartet either Mad As Hell or This Music Blows My Tiny Mind provide a doorway to a theatre of original rock ‘n’ roll, and together make an inescapable sonic tempest. Though not labelled as such, the Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) produced single is really a double A-sided offering in quality and striking impact, and proof that Damn Vandals still lead the current march of real rock ‘n’ roll.

Mad As Hell is released on 23rd February

http://www.damnvandals.co.uk/

RingMaster 22/02/2015

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Damn Vandals – Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World

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Providing another irresistible taster and invitation to their widely acclaimed, album of the year contender Rocket Out Of London, UK psyche rockers Damn Vandals are unleashing a new double A-sided single. Comprised of two tracks distinctly different but deviously united in stealing the passions, the release is a ridiculously contagious and venomously caustic stomp. Both Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live and Cities Of A Plastic World worm under the skin with compelling ingenuity and voracious enterprise, offering another inescapable temptation bred from a riveting brawl of garage punk infused with psyche and stoner rock from the London band. Quite simply it is punk infused rock ‘n’ roll at its most rigorously captivating and addictive.

Damn Vandals first gripped the passions with their Beautiful Mind EP, itself surpassed by debut album Done For Desire in 2012. Earlier this year the Julian Simmons (Midlake, Ed Sheeran, Guillemots, Goldheart Assembly) DE Ade Mulgrewproduced Rocket Out Of London set a new plateau for the band and template for emerging garage punk bands, the new single brings a stirring reminder with its sonic and deranged alchemy.

Both songs on the single provide a startling and magnetic scourge of unique sound and invention. Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live makes an early vocal declaration before the track slips into a sultry and feverish stroll of melodic acidity and sonic expression. There is a sweet and sour twang to every slither of guitar incitement cast by Frank Pick whilst the bass of Adam Kilemore Gardens provides a throaty temptation which flirts with ears and imagination. Driven by the vibrant sinews of Chris Christianson’s beats and lorded over by the deliciously unique tones of Jack Kansas, the song finds a higher gear as it unleashes a captivating canter to its discord licked persuasion. Like Fatima Mansions meets Queens Of The Stone Age, with a flavoursome side dish of Engerica, the song is a glorious haunting of ears and passions.

   Cities Of A Plastic World breeds its own distinct veining of warped endeavour, a web of drama drenched sonic intrigue from the guitars aligning with jabbing beats for a delicious nagging on the senses and thoughts. A mischievous intimidation comes with the bass lures whilst vocally Kansas again parades the lyrical narrative with devious and raw expression whilst pure virulence soaks the dynamics and discord fuelled breath of the song. Complete with psychotic imagination to its rebellious nature, the track is one of the band’s finest moments to date.

If Damn Vandals has managed to escape the clutches of your attention then getting your teeth into the infectious heart of their new single is a must. Theirs is a sound which seduces and infests body relentlessly right through to emotions for the richest long lasting rewards; the twin temptation Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World the perfect vehicle for their corruption of your soul.

Too Lazy To Die Too Stoned To Live/Cities Of A Plastic World is available on CD and digitally on iTunes and all major download sites from 22nd September.

www.damnvandals.co.uk

RingMaster 21/09/2014

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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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