The Damned Things – Ironiclast
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Record Label: Island
Fall Out Boy, Every Time I Die, and Anthrax?
Now that lineup looks more like my ideal concert rather than a supergroup consisting of members from each band. But hearing is believing, and The Damned Things is dead set on converting you to their worship of rock and roll. Here’s a quick dirty breakdown: three years ago Joe Trohman and Scott Ian met and began writing together. Later Keith Buckley, Andy Hurley, and Rob Caggiano were invited to round out the group. They played their first show earlier this summer and now they are about to close out your 2010 the right way with their raucous debut album, Ironiclast.
Still scratching your head over how this will sound? Well, it’s not that complicated, as Ironiclast features a lot of the elements originally heard on records from each member’s respective band. Thrash, metal, and pop collide to create a well-balanced rock record. It’s equally catchy and riff-heavy, as heard on opener “Handbook For The Recently Deceased.” Try to not act impressed as Buckley croons over the chorus, as Trohman, Ian, and Caggiano (who also plays bass) lead the triple guitar attack. Trohman finally gets to show off his chops, as Fall Out Boy never really gave him the chance to show off his guitar skills. In fact, Ironiclast is a chance for each member to do new things. Ian and Caggiano have never been a part of something this poppy, Trohman and Hurley finally get to unleash their heavier side, and, of course, Buckley gets to dive into the vocal style he’s only dabbled in on previous ETID records. Ironiclast is familiar yet unique.
The bridge on “Bad Blood” showcases a mesmerizing riff and an urgent Buckley asking, “Where was I when you thought I crossed the line?” These are Buckley’s most personal lyrics to date; as he favors a more straight-forward take over being ethereal and vague. The key to this album is that it never stays in one place. Genres abound from classic rock to blues to thrash. One second they’re laying down incredibly catchy choruses (“Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)” and “Little Darling”), then a power ballad shows up (“A Great Reckoning”). But don't get too comfortable because you'll eventually get your head bashed in (the pulverizing “Grave Robber”).
But The Damned Things are at their best when they mix up all their styles into one delicious cocktail. “Black Heart” is like an old fashioned Wild, Wild West shootout, as all three guitarists power the song behind the swagger that is Buckley’s vocal harmonies. Hurley is a beast behind the kits on “We’ve Got A Situation Here,” a song destined to destroy arenas everywhere, while the dark thrash of the title track comes off as the most beautiful ETID/Anthrax bastard child.
The Damned Things have the kind of bravado that many rock bands of late have been lacking. Seriously, anything goes on Ironiclast – it’s heavy, hook-laden, and stuffed with huge riffs. It’s basically a modern take on the classic rock record. No gimmicks, no frills, no bullshit, this is just a straight up rock and roll takeover.