Review Summary: There's a lot of potential here, but not much else
I like sleazy rock music, and I like female fronted rock bands. When I heard Tuuli's cover of Motley Crue's "Girls Girls Girls" I got a taste of the two combined, and I liked it. Years later, I was linked to a couple of videos by a band called Damone, a female fronted band who straddle the line between 80's rock and more contemporary, fast paced pop-rock. What I saw impressed me to the point that I decided to check out their latest album, 'Out Here All Night'
. After listening to the thing on and off for a couple months, here's what I make of it.
Damone are a band who are obviously trying to find their own sound, but often end up sounding like an odd mashup of bands like Vain crossed with Avril Lavigne. Songs will open with a fairly heavy or catchy riff, feature a catchy-as-all-hell chorus, but be dragged down by comparatively uninteresting verses which just seem formulaic and cookie-cutter, and Noelle in particular just sounds like "another chick vocalist" during these segments. It's like they can't decide whether to be a hard rock band and make a serious go at creating something forceful and aggressive, or fall back on genre cliches and call it a day. For example, New Change of Heart
feels like it's going to be an out and out rock jam that takes aim at a hated ex, but the vocal delivery on the chorus coupled with the odd, effects drenched lead work just robs the song of it's energy.
Sometimes they manage to hit the nail right on the head though. What We Came Here For
is a fantastic track, featuring a stop-start verse riff where Noelle just sounds outright sexy. The chorus is a massive stomper, with Noelle singing a melodic line and the guys on backup giving it the gang vocals for "give us what we came here for" on alternate lines. The bridge is also fantastic, with a surprisingly good guitar harmony, and a quick build up to the chorus where Noelle once again just sounds sexy as hell and full of attitude. The song is also embellished with a lot of guitar fills and leads, which add to the song immensely by making a fairly basic song structure much more interesting and varied. The lead guitarist is definitly one to watch for the future, because although he doesn't break into any really amazing solos, the leads and whammy-fuelled fills really do accentuate key transitions in the songs. To put it bluntly, a fair few of them just sound out and out cool, and they'll catch you ear every time.
Track 2, Out Here All Night
, is another great rock stomper, with a harmony pulloff riff, on and off verses, and another outstandingly catchy yet heartfelt chorus where Noelle sings about waiting for someone to come back. Relationship issues are one of the primary lyrical themes throughout the album, and though all the angst does get a bit repetitive, tracks like these are so good you can almost forget that the lyrical matter is downright emo. "Well I must not be too smart, if I can't fix what I watched fall apart, but standing there listening was like being stabbed in the heart", from Stabbed In the Heart
, funnily enough, is one of the culprits of it going a little overboard though. Sometimes you just feeling like calling these kids and telling them to cheer the hell up.
Unfortunately, there's a lot of fairly mind-numbing generic pop-punk on this album. On Your Speakers
has a catchy and surprisingly optimistic chorus, but apart from the "woah"s, it's pretty bland and dull. Same can be said for opener Now Is The Time
. Get Up And Go
starts with a nice heavy-ish riff, but falls headlong into another boring pop song after this. Don't get me wrong, next to bands like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte this is absolute musical genius, as there are a lot of musical ideas floating around here, with some songs sporting four or more guitar tracks each doing there own thing. But compared to the harder songs on this record, the more generic and poppy moments just sound like filler material. Ultimately, this means the majority of the album manages to feel like filler between the cooler, groovier and more diverse tracks like Outta My Way
, which reeks of Motley Crue, right down to the spoken bridge, utterly cringeworthy lyrics and surprisingly good wah-wah driven solo. Where their 80's influences fail them though, is the power-ballad aping When You Live
, which just doesn't quite live up to classics like 18 And Life or Home Sweet Home.
There's definitly a few moments worth checking out on this album, especially singles Out Here All Night
and What We Came Here For
, where all the influences synchronise beautifully to make something that manages to be both catchy as hell and full of attitude, but for every great track on this album there are two that are instantly forgettable. For most of this album I was left thinking "this is alright, I guess", so in hindsight the general monotony of most of the album may be making me rate the standout moments a little too high. It's just that nearly every time something awesome started happening in a song, like the orchestral build-up in Wasted Years
, it was followed by a more boring and predictable section, which is a shame because it seemed to be building into something really epic and impressive. Check this out if you like girl-fronted rock, and definitly check out the singles (tracks 2 and 3), but don't expect the majority of the album to measure up to the better material on here.
- What We Came Here For
- Out Here All Night
- Outta My Way