The Damned : Evil Spirits

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The Damned : Evil Spirits


This is probably the best thing The Damned have recorded since 1985’s Captain-less Phantasmagoria. Legendary producer Tony Visconti is at the desk; an auspicious pairing, and an honour for devout music fans. Their broad tastes are not confined to the punk music they helped invent, and this has been evident since the Damned Mk. II’s glorious run of ambitious studio albums, beginning with 1979’s Machine Gun Etiquette. Now more than ever they’re throwing everything in, and combined with Visconti’s talent, it consistently delivers. Drawing influence from ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s music and little else bar their own pedigree, what results is something relatively timeless.

‘Standing On The Edge of Tomorrow’ combines kitsch drum machine and retro B-grade movie music with brilliant ‘60s Spector-esque insanity, all rolling tympani and soaring vocal harmonies.

The lyrical themes are sort of jarring – Dave Vanian’s political sentiments are well intentioned, but sound ill-matched against such luxurious music. Early ‘80s bassist Paul Gray has returned and is instantly in good form, as is the whole band. There’s always a lot of melody going on, which makes the lesser songs like ‘Procrastination’ absorbing enough.

Evil Spirits is worth hearing for any Damned fan; they almost sustain greatness the whole way through.