Dec 14, 2010

The Damned Things' "Ironiclast" Album Review

image from Amazon

Artist: The Damned Things
Album: Ironiclast
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Tracks: 10
Runtime: 39:15

Track Rundown:
(All ratings out of 5 *'s)

1) "Handbook for the Recently Deceased" - Initially, I wasn't a big fan of this song, even though it's name comes from the movie Beetlejuice. The delivery of the verses seems kind of phoned in and generic modern rock. I'm not familiar with singer Keith Buckley's other band Everytime I Die, but this delivery doesn't spark interest in it for me. After multiple listens however, I find myself completely hooked on the chorus. I love the poetic alliteration, the passion in the delivery, and the subtle awesomeness of the actual music really brings me in. 4 *'s out of 5.

2) "Bad Blood" - Just an all around great song that will hopefully open the gates for what modern rock could be in 2011. The vocals and music are totally in sync, the verses are good and the chorus hits really hard. I wouldn't be surprised if this became a single off the album. 5*'s out of 5.

3) "Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)" - A bit generic-modern rock again, but at least has a great delivery. Fans of generic modern rock will really love this song, so at least they should impress their target audience with this track. We also get some awesome guitar work after the halfway point. While not re-inventing the wheel, at least utilizing the wheel to the best of its potential. A very respectable 4 1/2 *'s out of 5.

4) "We've Got A Situation Here" - Completely epic in every way, including the music video! I demand everyone give this track a listen because it's both awesome to listen to, and hilarious to watch. 5 *'s out of 5.

5) "Black Heart" - It's like Zeppelin, but for the new school. It's bluesy but metal. It's high octane rock that is tailor made for an action film soundtrack, but also makes for great driving music. 5 *'s out of 5.

6) "A Great Reckoning" - I'm very much on the fence about this song. Much like "Friday Night", it doesn't feel up to par with the kind of epic metal that shined in "We've Got A Situation Here", but assuming the album is broken up into different subgenres of music to gather a wide array of fans, I'll say this is another example of a very good pop-metal/hard-pop-rock song. The guitar work is simply spectacular the entire way through, it's just the vocal delivery that makes it sound soft. I'll give it a 3 *'s out of 5 for possibly being skippable when playing through the album, but not something I'd tear my hair out having to listen to.

7) "Little Darling" - At one point they make a guitar sound like a flute. There is no segue for that. But this is an awesome track that if not a single, certainly deserves a music video. There's a lot of mileage in this song and I'd definitely listen to it while driving. 5 *'s out of 5.

8) "Ironiclast" - Some may feel differently about this track, but it just doesn't do it for me. I will compliment the drum work as it's made a highlight of the song, but the vocals get very rough metalcore at points, which isn't my bag. A saddening, skippable 2 *'s out of 5.

9) "Grave Robber" - As soon as this track starts, you know you're in for some gritty and epic metal. Once the vocals kick in, you're thone a curve because things feel like it's a cowboy tribute. Not a stereotypical, corny cowboy, but Red Dead Redemption cowboy. Dirty, dusty, grave robbing outlaw. I don't even mind the brief metalcore infusion toward the end because by that point, I'm totally believing this mean son of a motherless goat. 5 *'s out of 5.

10) "The Blues Having Blues" - What sucks about this song is that the lyrics are needlessly emo, but the vocal delivery has the "it" factor. They even through a background women's choir and a tunnel-echo effect as parts of this song. Yet they can't make up for crap lyrics. "I've been blessed with a broken heart since I've been born." That's just weak writing. Good alliteration, but really, ick. 2 *'s out of 5.

My Highlights:
"Bad Blood", "We've Got A Situation Here", "Black Heart", "Little Darling", and "Grave Robber". I've even provided "We've Got A Situation Here", so you've got no excuse not to atleast give that track a fair trial.

Overall Rating:
Averaging up all of the totals, this album gets an excellent score of 4 *'s out of 5. I think given the hit-to-miss ratio, this album really suffered from it's short length and limited number of tracks. However, given that this is a debut album by a supergroup consisting of members from Anthrax, Fallout Boy, and Everytime I Die, I'm going to look at the big picture and award this album 1/4* brownie point, bringing the total score to 4 1/2 *'s out of 5, or 9 *'s out of 10!

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