Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Album Review :: Damn Vandals - Rocket Out Of London

Damn Vandals

Rocket Out Of London

April 7 2014 (Sexy Beast)


Words: Dave Beech

Following up their 2012 debut was never going to be an easy feat for London four-piece Damn Vandals. Heaped with praise from the likes of DIY, BBC6 Music and Classic Rock Magazine, 'Done for Desire' was ten tracks of sludgy stoner rock akin to the likes of Eagles of Death Metal. Now with second album 'Rocket Out of London' not far from release, it seems the format is very much the same as last time if not cranked up a notch. Ten tracks again, this time clocking in at less than 26 minutes.

Kicking things off with forthcoming single 'Twist Up and Tangle' there is no gentle introduction, a few seconds of abrasive guitar and uncompromising drums before vocalist Jack Kansas sets out the band's intentions, declaring “We wanna tangle with money, power, sleaze”, the latter two being something the band relish in; every song a relentless assault that draws from a variety of influences, with tracks such as 'Too Lazy to Die Too Stoned to Live' a brilliant fusion of psychedelia and desert rock, as if The Doors grew up listening to Queens of the Stone Age, a feeling which is carried over in to following track 'I Bring You Love'.

Behind the band's obvious rock'n'roll demeanour, there's an inherent tongue-in-cheekiness about them too, something which goes hand-in-hand with the genre (and exhibited brilliantly by the aforementioned Eagles of Death Metal), with tracks like 'Whisky Going Free' and following song 'I Hate School' being prime examples. Interestingly enough, the latter of which is also one of the strongest tracks on the album, featuring some incredible guitar work juxtaposed against knowingly cheesy lyricism such as opening line “Well baby do you need some company/cause I've got nothing left to do, except you”.

Should Damn Vandals take themselves seriously, it would probably be difficult to find much appeal beyond that of some fantastic musicianship, at least for me personally. Their overall sound isn't ground-breaking but they are great at what they do, and given that there is very little in the way of competition in the UK when it comes to sleazy desert rock (undoubtedly due to the lack of deserts) they'll likely continue their ascent to the top of their game. Also, with ballsy rock'n'roll such as this, one can't help but think that the whole experience isn't really appreciated until you see it done live, if Damn Vandals can incorporate the same boozy, sweaty swagger in to their sets then there's no way they're not destined for festival main stage greatness.

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