Release Date: 6/28/2019
Format: Digital and Physical
Label: A Diamond Heart Production
Composition (Per Bandcamp): All songs written and produced by
Heather Hellskiss and The Damed
Production (Per Bandcamp): Mixed and mastered by Vanessa Silberman at
A Diamond Heart Production
Recorded by: Manny Nieto at Total Annihilation Studios
Cover Art (Per Bandcamp): Front cover art by David Rasmussen
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current Lineup: (Per Facebook)
- Hellskiss – Vox/Gtr
- Watts – Drums
- Suze – Bass/Vox ( Suzanne Slade of Denver from such bands as Battle Pussy and H2awesome)
Favorite Tracks: Extreme Vacancy, Equal Pay Day, Ritual Revolution,
Sounds Like: Bikini Kill, The Breeders, Doll Skin, L7, Cheap Perfume and Bratmobile
Let’s take a moment to congratulate the US Women’s soccer team on their hard earned victory in this years World Cup! Wait is it really a victory if you’re earning less than your male counterparts? Per NPR’s article this is the case and severely messed up. LA based The Damed are ready to kick ass in the name of feminism and sexual equality. Their debut record dropped 6/28/2019 via their label, A Diamond Heart Production.
Let’s take a listen. Please promise to avoid all anarchic activities until you have fully read this review. I kid of course. The record starts out with “Extreme Vacancy”. This is a great tune to set the mood. You can feel the anger brewing, yet there is some playful melodies. This track is great for those leaving and moving on.
My favorite track rolls up next, “Equal Pay Day”. The track has a great old school sound similar to Bikini Kill or even some Distiller tracks. The message is in the title. The delivery is solid gold. This will make all punks pogo with a cause. The intro riff is kick ass!
“Ritual Revolution” follows and goes heavy like L7. The drums provide the backdrop for what feels like some sort of ritual dance. You have to hear, Hellskiss’s vocals on this track. She is wicked angry and ready to rip a head off. “Pulse”, comes in with another dark theme. The bass and drums come with a gothic tone, providing the mystery.
In the 1980’s, alternative came in many different forms from many different bands. “Little Ship”, contains so much more besides punk. It’s a great example of a wonderfully composed song that has the ability to switch structured genres in a flash. While it encourages the end, it also encourages self-improvement and self-worth. Is this Siouxsie And The Banshees? Na, but it could give old Siouxsie Sioux a run for her money.
“Pursuit” starts out with this crazy bass line that I adore. Did I mention Suzanne Slade of Denver’s Battle Pussy and H2awesome is on bass! This is a track you can dance to. The post punk influences return with a rhythmic fashion. In “We Are The Proof” the message is simple the #METOO is a movement that will only get stronger. This anthem like song, speaks of bonding together to fight a society. That has allowed women to be treated like shit for too long.
“Escape From The Shadows” is the last track. The song is like a culmination of this record up until now. The anger has brewed, the storyline foreshadowed. They are ready to step out from the shows in a tribal like blast of violence, destined to reclaim everything in its wake. For a society that refuses to accept equality, that change will come with a fury.
In closing the Damed’s new release is a brilliant composition filled with punk, post punk and synth. If you’re looking for a definition of Riot Grrrl music, look no further. The band could have easily sold out CBGB’s, or any local venue in the 1980s and just as easy in 2019. You can download the album here, https://thedamedband.bandcamp.com/album/the-damed.
Track List (Per Bandcamp)
- EXTREME VACANCY
- EQUAL PAY DAY
- RITUAL REVOLUTION
- LITTLE SHIP
- WE ARE THE PROOF
- ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOWS