Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards
Bad Days Ahead
In Music We Trust
If you’ve never heard the brutally honest alt-country and throat-shredding vocals of Michael Dean Damron, let me give you a quick summary of what it sounds like: Bob Dylan if he smoked more, yelled more, and played more like Steve Earle. Damron was the lead singer for I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House for about a decade before he took a decidedly different turn on his solo debut and slowed things to more of a brooding angst. Now with his new backing band, Thee Loyal Bastards, and their new album, Bad Days Ahead, Damron is ready to shred some more vocal chords and deliver the same intensity that he’s had all along.
The album opens with the bluesy barn-burner “I Love the Rain,” in which Damron proclaims, “I like my clouds big and black/ bring on Noah’s ark.”
Damron’s lyrics are some of the most biting that he’s ever written and it’s on display throughout the entire album from the opener to the closer “Baseball Season Ends Early.” The hardest hitting lyric comes from “Swear to God” where he tells his ex-wife, “I’ll show you, baby, just how bad I can hurt myself.”
“Hallelujah” is a lot more intimate and shows that Damron is more than just a rocker with a knack for stating the truth. He tells a hypocrite, “All your false prayers/ will not buy you another day.” The song ends in the two-person “Hallelujah” chorus led by Damron’s weathered rasp matched quite well with (the aptly-named) Heidi Hellbender.
Bad Days Ahead is classic Michael Dean Damron. His lyrics are blunt, and his voice sounds weathered well past his years. Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards have created another honest portrayal of life that is naked and scarred.