By Luigi Sibona
This has got to be some kind of fluke? The Damned are 40 years into their career and have produced an album that is incredibly slick and fresh, yet still remains true to their goth-punk sound that elevated them into success. ‘Evil Spirits’, their first LP in 10 years is a brilliant addition to their already amazing back catalogue.
Opener ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ kicks things of with Dave Vanian’s signature gothy croon and from the pre-chorus vocal melody I was hooked.
The synth line pulsating through ‘Devil In Disguise’ will be lodged in your head and keep you coming back for more time and time again. These guys have been wickedly sharp songwriters since ‘Damned Damned Damned’ but the effortless tying up of song structure on this record is really something to behold. It calls back to their absolute peak as goth titans on albums such as ‘Strawberries’ or ‘The Black Album’ (before Metallica did it).
Single, ‘Sonar Deceit’, is another tremendous showcase of the band as a unit, with Captain Sensible’s licks propelling the track forward and Vanain’s vocals pushing and pulling between the beautiful and the sinister.
Honestly, there are a number of track on this, their 11th full-length that could comfortably sit in their setlist alongside all-time classics such as ‘Ignite’ or ‘New Rose’. When you’re talking of a band of this vintage, for new material to be anything more than a piss-break in the live set is a huge thing and these tracks earn their place.
I go back to the same point I opened with, how is this possible? But with sharp, tight production and devilishly canny songwriting, The Damned are back on wicked form with a stormer of a record to boot.