This is NOT the smile of a demented circus clown. It's real. They make me laugh.
That's because they're funny, bloody funny, THE DAMNED. Always laughing themselves, always taking the piss. But underneath that shallow and occasionally stupid exterior, their grasp and mastery of the perfect pop song has for many years remained largely untouchable. STRAWBERRIES, like its brilliant predecessor, THE BLACK ALBUM, is a fine example of The Damned's underrated songwriting ability. Awash with thrashing guitars, scattergun drums, psychedelic keybords and a dynamic brass and sax section, the bi-polar vocals of DAVE VANIAN and the finely balanced harmonies of CAPTAIN SENSIBLE all converge in one big haze of exuberant showmanship. Either that, or there's some seriously gleeful arsing around going on, take your pick. Whatever the case, this album belongs in everyone's punk rock/new wave collections, the perfect antidote to some of the more po-faced product of the era; you know who you are, Mr Devoto and Ms Sioux. Truth is, whatever else is going on in my life, The Damned never fail to cheer me up.
Outstanding tracks: GENERALS; THE DOG; UNDER THE FLOOR AGAIN; DOZEN GIRLS; GUN FURY.
Outstanding Bonus Track: LOVELY MONEY - fabulous, but listen out for the breathtakingly politically incorrect sidewipe at the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands. A marvel of its time and, forgive me, still quite hilarious. Big Wow indeed, Viv Stanshall.
BONUS TRIVIA FACT: Both the inner sleeve and labels of the original vinyl LP were impregnated with an artificial strawberry essence - which after nearly twenty-five years CONTINUE TO SMELL FRUITY! Bless 'em.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED