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The Damned Things High Crimes

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The Damned Things - High Crimes
01. Cells
02. Something Good
03. Invincible
04. Omen
05. Carry A Brick
06. Storm Charmer
07. Young Hearts
08. Keep Crawling
09. Let Me Be (Your Girl)
10. The Fire Is Cold
2019 Nuclear Blast Records

OUR SCORE
5
USER SCORE
-
Reviewed by: Colin   //   Published: 7/9/2019

More often than not, "supergroups" fail to live up to expectations. Whether it's unrealized potential or an abundance of hype, the coalescing of individually established musicians tends to fall short. The resulting projects frequently feel bland, forced and forgettable. The Damned Things' first full length, Ironiclast suffered this very fate. Featuring seminal thrasher Scott Ian of Anthrax, Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, and emo-pop rockers Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy fame (to be fair, both Trohman and Hurley cut their teeth in hardcore bands), the album offered energetic, fun rock and roll that never quite locked into anything memorable. The songs were full of promise, but ultimately never delivered.

The Damned Things' second LP, High Crimes, comes nine years after their debut, but essentially picks up right where Ironiclast left off. There's no denying the talent here – it's difficult to achieve the level of success each member has without it – but the resulting music doesn't match it. Don't get me wrong, High Crimes doesn't come off as a cash grab or perfunctory effort, in fact it is quite the opposite. The Damned Things sound like they really put the work into developing the material, it's just that the material is largely uninspired.

After blazing through the album's strongest songs, "Cells" and "Something Good" (although the gimmickry of their cheerleader chants, hand claps and finger snaps should be noted), the album deteriorates into mundanity. The catchiness of the opening tracks essentially disappears as the album falters into the clumsiness of "Invincible," a mid-paced, riff-centric alternative rock sounding number. Like many of the songs on High Crimes, the track crawls along, begging for a hook that never surfaces.

As the LP continues, it's clear the energy and charisma shown at its beginning won't be returning. Tracks like "Keep Crawling" and "Carry A Brick" showcase some powerful riffing, but fail to grab the listener's attention while "Storm Charmer" and "Omen" offer some nice blues-rock moments but stumble through banal chorus sections.

Again, it's not for lack of talent or effort that the album trudges along. There's plenty of impressive guitar licks and drum fills, and newest member Dan Andriano does a fine job holding down the low end with his gritty bass tone, but the songs just fall flat overall. Buckley, not known for writing hooks (they're not particularly necessary in his main, frenetic metalcore project), fails to find the right groove within the songs. No doubt there is an audience for High Crimes, but what is the replay value?

Bottom Line: High Crimes isn't terrible by any means, it's just completely forgettable. While it's probably worthy of a few spins by devoted fans of the members' main bands, it won't be the material any of them will be remembered for.

Comments
portslob   posted 5 days ago
It's a snooze fest
tomdelay   posted 6 days ago
OH SHIT YALL LAYIN IT DOWN HAAAWD