The Damned
"Grave Disorder", LP

The Damned's current album has finally been released on vinyl. It gives you 14 beautiful songs of love and hate (including one instrumental), etched in a strangely coloured disc.

It's 2002, and time for a Punk revival. Fuelled by the Queen's Golden Jubilee (which tells us that 25 years have gone by since the original Punk explosion), the old heroes leave the crypts of music history and aim to revive the "Spirit ov 1976": The Buzzcocks, Lords Of The New Church, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Sex Pistols - you name them.

Oh well, and there's The Damned of course who reunited in 2001 to tell the world that Final Damnation is nigh. As for the concept of a re-union, it has to be said that The Damned of the 21st century have a new lineup that consists of founding members Dave Vanian and Ray Burns (aka Captain Sensible) alongside Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch (formerly member of The English Dogs), and Patricia Morrison (ex-Gun Club, ex-Sisters of Mercy, and wife to Dave). The Captain plays the guitar now instead of the bass (bass lines are contributed by Patricia), Pinch is on drums, Monty on keyboards, and Dave, well, Dave is the dark psychobilly crooner he's always been.

Actually, you might wonder if the once angry young men of Punk have turned into, well, boring old men, but with The Damned this is clearly not the case. The output of the band has not changed that much since their early days, except that they are better musicians now, of course. Occasionally, The Captain plays rather lengthy guitar solos (sic!) and Dave even dabbles in the art of playing the Theremin (for example in "Absinthe").

There's the more aggressive songs like "Democracy" or "Amen", driven by speedy guitar riffs and cynical lyrics, the poppy "" (a tribute to the Beach Boys?), and songs with a dark twist ("She", "Beauty of the Beast", "Absinthe") - no filler material to be found on this release. The Damned continue in their tradition of dark psychobilly Punk with a pop edge. Captain Sensible still acts as the group's madman, and Dave Vanian still looks like a runaway from a Hammer Studios production set - good news, actually.

The vinyl edition is limited to 500 copies and sports a disc drenched in a beautifully tasteless light blue colour mimicking a marble surface - now that's really strange. To whom it may concern: the front cover is slightly different from the CD version - it features a yellow background.

Label: Nitro

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