With 12 tracks that span over the course of 30 minutes, The Damned are a geared up punk pioneer that sail among fairly easily transitional waters. Not really having the same jagged edge as their counterpart, Damned Damned Damned was more reflective of quick tracks that got a crowd to move instead of revolt and spit. Opening with “Neat Neat Neat,” the bass coming from Captain Sensible is a thumping catalyst that rips apart the diving board as the other three members plummet off. From Dave Vanian on vocals, Brian James on guitar and vocals, and Rat Scabies on percussion, the half-serious half-diabolical mix is a carnival that transposes into their sound.
Describing a political landscape that reflects more the thoughts of today, The Damned illustrate, “No crime if there ain’t no law, no cops left to mess you around. No more dreams of mystery chords, no more sight to bring you down…” they continue on to finish, “I said neat neat neat, she can’t afford no cannon. Neat neat neat, she can’t afford no gun at all.” So to become a stance that boosts anarchy in the U.K., The Damned are the more approachable but still seedy cousin that exists in the movement.
As they march on with “Born To Kill,” the crowds of noise grow larger and the nearly addictive style of play coincides within liberation. Describing initially, “I got a calling time of day, I beat a lot, lot of crime away…” to then illustrating, “It’s no kind of big deal, no Carnegie steal. I don’t feel like no hell, when I’m born, said I’m born, yeah I’m born, and I’m born to kill.” The guitars and bass here are like a switchblade that clearly marks the percussion and the short snare pops as separate entities. On one level of slice, The Damned is loud and rambunctious, but then they can show a different side of identifiable pop levels of digestibility.
With “Feel The Pain,” the slow burn of the instrumental is a three-and-a-half-minute break that is not only necessary but allows a recoup of ideas where every track begins to bleed into each other. The Damned without question is able to strike matches on Damned Damned Damned, but the slurred emotional distress of “Feel The Pain” is another face of the coin.
Before fading into sound, Damned Damned Damned puts the blade away and instead opts for a gentle handshake with a cover of The Stooges’ “1970,” disguised as “I Feel Alright” where a new era is ushered out and then immediately put into power by command and conquer tactics. Where one wave washes and the other dissipates, London cracks the pavement as a marker once more.