The Damned – So, Who’s Paranoid?
reviewed by : Jennifer Sojka (Lexi Lawsuit)
Jennifer Sojka (a.k.a. Lexi Lawsuit) is the lead singer of the horror rock band The Rabies. She was born and raised by a family of musicians/music teachers and has been playing music since the age of three. Her talents don’t stop at music; she is also the fashion designer and online retailer of Trash Queen Clothing.
released by : English Channel Records on 17 November 2008
data : 10th studio album . 13 tracks . 78:08 run time . www.officialdamned.com
The Damned are back once again with a brilliant display of their dark driving melees of musical madness entitled So, Who’s Paranoid?. Bathed in a titillating vat of English swagger, big guitar solos, and unique melodies, this album is not to be grouped into any one single genre (in keeping with the trend of previous un-classifiable Damned recordings). It’s definitely their most diverse album to date, with influences pulled from 60s psychedelic garage to catchy pop punk, dark satirical goth, and even fistfuls of Broadway-like theatrics. If you’re a fan of classic 70s Damned punk songs such as “Neat Neat Neat” and “Stab Your Back”, this album is probably not for you. This is a more mature Damned; polished and vibrantly clean. It’s smart, well thought out, refined, and developed. Dave Vanian’s crooning vocals prove to be ageless. They are powerful and sometimes even disturbingly mesmerizing in songs such as “Under the Wheels” and the ever-sodramatic “Nature’s Dark Passion”, confirming once again, why I place this man on such a high pedestal. Captain Sensible wails out guitar riffs like he’s ensnared with acid-filled visions of Jimi Henderix and The Beatles, providing a great touch to the album as a whole. Yet this can seem like a bit of an overkill in the fourteen-minute closer, “Dark Asteroid”. If trippy jam-band numbers aren’t your cup of tea, “Nothing”, will be sure to please you. This track resurrects the British punk sound in a whirling tidal wave of energy. Be sure to try out “Little Miss Disaster” if you’d like a quirky and notably catchy little tune stuck in your head for hours on end. As a whole, So, Who’s Paranoid? is a vivid, courageous rung in the ladder of the Damned’s thirty-plus year career. Can I honestly say that this is my favorite Damned album? Probably not, though it is definitely a gem in its own right. Consider it a nice little bauble
to add to your collection. Vive le Damned!
recommended tracks : Danger to Yourself, Maid for Pleasure, Under the Wheels, Nature’s Dark Passion
if you like you might like : Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rezillos, The Buzzcocks, The Misfits
grade : overall 8 – music 8 – lyrics 9 – recording quality 9
from the February Issue of Auxiliary Magazine