on 11 September 2002
Well, three and a half stars really!
Cast your mind back... 1985, the Damned were mainstream,(kind of). 1986, a 10th anniversary and an album, "Anything", then it went a bit quiet... Alright so when the mortgage repayments were due they'd do another reunion/farewell gig every so often and there was the occasional feeble compilation album but new material? 'Fraid not. Until, in 1996 "I'm Alright..." came along. This 2002 release simply has a couple of BBC sessions tacked on to the original album.
Make no mistake... this is not a follow up to "Anything"! This album harks back to simpler, happier times! What we have here is, in the main, a collection of good honest punk songs. All the Damned's verve and enthusiasm married to a greater sophistication in song writing and production values. For this album the Damned added an extra guitar to the usual 4-piece/4-piece + keyboards and the sound is wonderfully filled out as a result. These guys have never sounded so butch.
Captain was on one of his breaks from the Damned so principal guitar duties are carried out by Kris Dollimore to great effect. Dave croons his way through the album with customary style. Meanwhile Rat is in simply outstanding form on what appears to have been his last hurrah with the Damned.
From the fantastically boppy "Not of this Earth", via the slightly arsey "Shut It", past the darker "Tailspin", to the meditative "No More Tears", this album has plenty of good tracks worth adding to your extensive Damned catalogue. A return to form? Mostly. Not a classic but a worthy effort and a return that was long overdue and very welcome.
The Damned are now making a few quid from the marvellous Grave Disorder but spare a thought for Rat... His last Damned album. You owe it to him to buy this and help keep him in a lifestyle to which he can become accustomed!
This version of the Damned featured Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies.
I see a band at a crossroads, looking for a new direction but not quite succeeding. There are some great tracks here including 'Testify' which is terrific, but in my humble opinion the album lacks the personality and humour of Sensible and falls short of the current line-up.
A good album but not a classic from the Damned.
on 6 September 2010
First of all this album was also known as and released as 'Not Of this Earth'.
Second it is only this issue that has the live at BBC bonus tracks.
Line up : Dave Vanian vocals
Rat Scabies Drums
Kris Dollymore lead guitar
Alan Lee Shaw 2nd guitar
This album is good but, you also need to buy the Live Damned album 'Molten Lager' which was recorded the night before the Damned recorded this Album (which they did in 3 days whilst on tour in Germany in 1994) to get the full picture of how this good Album could have been a Great Album.
(Also seek out this line up playing live on TV show 'in bed with me Dinner' where Love Song , Neat neat neat and new song (at the time) I NEED A LIFE are performed with real conviction )
Favourite tracks: Testify, I need a life, Never Could believe, No more Tears, Tailspin, Running Man,
the rest also all very good.
The Live at BBC versions of 'Testify' and 'I need a life' included are much better than studio cuts which sadly were stripped of much of their power and drowned in unecessary keyboards. However The bonus tracks are not as thuderous as they were when the Damned played live on the Mark Radcliff show in 1993, although it is the same recording.
The Radcliffe show was the first airing of the (then) new Damned material and I was blown away and loved it the night it aired.
I saw the band on the first night of the British tour a night or so later and again I was blown away by the new material and their awesome new guitarist Kris Dollimore.
Nearly 20 years later and I still love these tracks and this line up of the Damned. Go ahead buy it and buy 'molten lager' and enjoy a brief but super rock band (i.e this particular line up of The Damned )
You will love it !
on 27 September 2010
I was somewhat hesitant buying this album as I'd been to see the UK tour that went with it and to say as a lifelong Damned fan I was disappointed with the gig is a huge understatement. Nevertheless nearly 15 years later I saw it had been digitally remastered and decided to jump in with both feet as I ultimately wanted to have everything by The Damned on CD. Top job, this album is ace and it really rocks. Of course, it sounds like The Damned because Dave Vanian has such unique vocals. Musically, its a different story. The album is very 70s punk/new wave sounding which in this day and age is refreshing and great to listen to and sounds great turned up at home or in the car. But it is not 'Damned' punk and there is no one who sounds like Brian James or the Captain on this album but it is played by top drawer 70s punk veterans and sounds authentic. The extra tracks do no harm but whether the new version of Neat Neat Neat adds anything I think everyone knows the answer to that ! If you like The Damned you won't regret buying this album.