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REVIEW: The Damned creep and groove in ‘Evil Spirits’

Never question why.

After 42 years of creeping and cranking it to 11, The Damned show they still have it in their new LP Evil Spirits

Not many classic punk rock bands of any kind from the 70’s have managed to survive to this day without a bunch of inner turmoil and breaking up. Most didn’t last more than a couple years or so. However, goth punk band The Damned has managed to beat the odds.

On the band’s latest LP Evil Spirits (their first album in 10 years), they show that not only are they still around, but they are just as creepy, foreboding, atmospheric, and rocking as ever.

Evil Spirits has a great deal to offer sonically. There are plenty of cranked to 11 electric guitars and ominous vocals, but there are also plenty of cinematic Hammond organ squalls and melodic horns to enrich the experience as well.

That said, this is by no means a ska album.

“Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” is the album opener, and rightfully so. The moment the play button is pushed, dark, creepy guitars come slipping through the speakers, followed by the odd choice of electronic drums to get the pace going all while backed by subtle but unnerving synth.

From there however it kicks into a full on straight up rock n’ roll tune of a dismal (in all the best ways) nature. The vocals make goosebumps and the backing choral vocals only add to it.

“Shadow Evocation” is without a single shadow of a doubt the most disturbing (in a good way) track on Evil Spirits. The intro starts off with some mournful synth with some soft Vincent Price-like spoken words being performed in the background before it kicks into the meat and potatoes of the song itself (which is surprisingly uptempo).

“Daily Liar” has some absolutely splendid dual harmonized guitars with some bright, melodic trumpet layered over them in the intro. The bulk of the song is more traditionally punk in terms of its upbeat atmosphere.

The lyrics are definitely the most political, talking about how there is so much crap spewed out from all directions by the news and social media these days.

Evil Spirits is not anything that is particularly groundbreaking, but honestly it does not really need to be. At this point in their career, The Damned can just put out whatever music they want for the fun of it. It’s not like they are trying to draw in a mass of new listeners. This album is quite clearly for themselves and the long time dedicated fans.

Honestly though, there is nothing wrong with that in the slightest.

Rating: 3.25/5

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Listen: The Damned Evil Spirits

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