Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ironiclast - The Damned Things - 2010

IroniclastI finally got around to listening to the Damned Things' debut (or is it a one-off?), Ironiclast, this week and, after a half dozen spins I'm left with a resounding hmmpfh.

An Anthrax/Fall Out Boy/Every Time I Die hybrid, I grabbed this one due to Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano's involvement (and the cover which immediately brought to mind John Carpenter's masterpiece, They Live).

Repeat listens don't seem to do much to sway this record one way or the other. It's fun, I guess, and catchy, but only in the moment. I played it more than once in order to write a review - not because I wanted to hear it again.

For those hoping for another S.O.D., you're S.O.L. This is heavy pop at best and, from what I've heard on radio and videos, sticks a lot closer to the play-it-safe sound of Fall Out Boy, also known for their really long song titles and bassist's tendency to drink Jessica Simpson's sister's breastmilk. As for Every Time I Die, never heard of 'em. And Ironiclast doesn't particularly inspire me to look them up, either.

On first listen as a whole, I found it all acceptably pleasant and immediately forgettable. On repeat listens I did my best to pay attention to the separate parts. The rhythm and riffery really are solid enough, though it's evident the Anthrax fellows have saved their A-game for the upcoming Worship Music. A bluesy barroom rocker, "Black Heart" stands as the exception and is the one number that distinguishes itself from the rest of the album.

"Black Heart" follows the first two singles from the album, "We've Got a Situation Here" and "Friday Night (Going Down in Flames)," both much more representative of the rest of the album's content overall and, in my opinion, both just as digestible and forgettable as whatever Taco Bell has cobbled together for this week's special. If you like this one, you'll like the rest.

All in all, Ironiclast isn't offensive to my sensibilities in any way but it's also in no way inspiring to them, either. It doesn't have to be thrash. It doesn't have to be heavy. But does it have to be so middle-of-the-road "just OK?"

In the end a hmmpfh is more positive than a meah. I guess.

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