REVIEW: The Damned Things – “Ironiclast”

The Damned Things / Ironiclast / Universal

It’s long been understood that Every Time I Die is the catchiest band in all of hardcore music. This is due in large part to the dynamic created by very riff-oriented guitar work and frontman Keith Buckley’s versatile and charismatic songwriting. Several years ago, Joe and Andy from Fall Out Boy had begun collaborating with Anthrax’s Ian and Rob with no clear idea on where to take the project. Then, like a mad scientist stumbling upon a couple of grave robbers in the midst of a midnight exhumation, Buckley became the final ingredient in the chemical makeup of The Damned Things. It was just the spark needed to bring Ironiclast to life in all its lurching riffery and grindhouse glory.

The title track and “Graverobber” feature brief glimpses of the scream that Buckley wields with such fury in Every Time I Die, but they’re rare exceptions on an album where clean vocals rule. And rule they do, as on the album opener “Handbook for the Recently Deceased” which treats the listener to some soaring vocal harmonies that match a great solo late in the track. Judging by some of their more macabre lyrics, The Damned Things are a band fascinated by death. Yet, on Ironiclast, we get not only a new rock group from musicians with a fresh stream of inspiration, but some genuinely moving songs that rumble with a life all of their own. Ironic.

Download: “Graverobber”, “Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)”

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