Big, swinging, pendulous knackers…
Review by Allan Jones
Release date: 24 August 2015
Balls. Big, swinging, pendulous knackers. That’s what the Damn Dice are displaying proudly all the way through this, their long-awaited debut. The album kicks in hard from the start with ‘Power’, and declares firmly that they’ve come to rock – and they rock pretty damn hard. The fact that their merchandise includes a combined lighter/bottle opener is perfectly apt for a band that sounds like they want to get drunk and then set the bar on fire on their way out and play in the burning wreckage.
There’s a slickness and urgency to the guitar work that’s cleverly underpinned by a rhythm section that’s picked up a groove somewhere between heavy metal and cock rock. And the solos – that lighter’s going to come in handy, put it that way. The vocal style takes a little longer to define – it shifts between a high-pitched eighties cock rock screech and a louche, drawling cock rock style that somehow draws on heavy metal influences all in a single track. By the time you’ve heard the second track ‘What Now?’, none of this seems even remotely out of place, and it works brilliantly.
There’s some decent songwriting on show, and they lean into the clichés for all they’re worth. The stuttering introduction of ‘The Way To Go’ followed by the sparse bass riffing wouldn’t feel out of place on any self-respecting cock rock album, and yet the chorus and subsequent verses turn this into a study in heavy metal. You can’t help but smile at the audacity of what they’re doing, and even when they don’t quite manage to pull the tonal shift off, they’ll still hook you back in with the gleeful exuberance and energy on show.
Anthemic is probably the word that best applies to this album: it’s full of big, stomping riffs and burning solos and soaring vocals and pounding drums and basslines that have you nodding your head before you even realise that’s what you’re doing. You can’t help yourself. It’s glorious, and most of all it’s fun – even the slow stuff quickly turns into a slavering beast part-way through like they can’t quite help themselves, either. They’re evidently going to be a lot of fun to watch on their tour later this year.
But as for this album? It’s got big vocals, harmonies, singalong choruses, swagger, crowd-partipication ‘woah-oh’ noises, furious guitar solos, thundering drums, crunching riffs, pinched harmonics, motorbike noises, and everything else you could possibly want.
8 out of 10
- What Now?
- The Way To Go
- Caught In The Ride
- Bang Your Head
- No Fear
- Take The Fight
- Rock (Like You Mean It)