Another Live Album from The Damned
Four Worlds Media
We’ll never agree on “The First Punk Band”; arguments take us from The Ramones to the New York Dolls to Legendary Stardust Cowboy to Sky Saxon. But most people will agree The Damned were pretty darn early, and they did release the first album of the genre. Considering the lo-fi ethos, DYI mentality, and general low technical quality of early punk an album was a huge accomplishment. Their music built on an E chord/ 4/4 time intensity, thrift shop drag, snotty lyrics and even snottier character names that made them the terror of parents and rednecks everywhere.
So is this a big deal? The Damned have far more live and compilation albums than albums of new material so it’s unlikely you’ll miss any real gems. I’ve not really heard that many of the other live albums but this one is a fun if not sweat-inducing collection. It opens with Dave Vanian announcing “We are the Damned, and we sound a bit like this!” The crowd is appreciative and they pound out the classics you love like “Waiting for the Black Out” and “I Just Can’t be Happy Today” and “Neat Neat Neat”. While you might think: “I can’t get enough of ‘Smash It Up’ ,” it IS a punk song and while punk is more fun than a room full of small puppies, it’s not Chet Baker or Ludwig Von Beethoven. But I’ll bet you don’t actually HAVE a Damned live collection, and this one is crisp and the band sounds wonderful. I’ll be spinning this for a few more days; I’ve discovered “Disco Man” and “Perfect Sunday” and I’ll never lose my taste for “New Rose.” This is a solid live album with top notch sound, a minimum of band patter, and a rocking enthusiasm that says “Punk will never die!” At least not any time soon.