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Damn Freaks – Damn Freaks

Damn Freaks
Damn Freaks
by Harry Green at 16 August 2017, 2:14 AM

DAMN FREAKS of Florence, Italy, were formed in 2017 and released their self-titled debut this year on August 11. One of the selling points listed for this album is that it sounds just like material from 30 years ago, and given that the other selling point is the presence of a vocalist whose band (TYGERS OF PAN-TANG) was big on the NWOBHM scene, this isn’t an inaccurate claim. A term I do not see used is *unique* selling point. The bass is slightly more audible than it typically would be for this genre, and that’s about as far as DAMN FREAKS go in breaking the mold in an overall sense. There’s some solid work here: the competent “Burning Up” puts one in mind of RATT, while “The Way I Feel” has the sort of drawn-out, drowsy air that reminds me of “Lost Behind the Wall” by DOKKEN, my favorite song from “Back For the Attack”. “Poison Apple” stands head and shoulders above the other tracks merely by virtue of its slightly unorthodox chord progressions that contain hints of RUSH.

For the most part, however, the album is forgettable – even when it’s good it’s still very derivative. For example, “Take A Ride” begins with a riff sounding almost exactly like the verse section from BLACK SABBATH’s similarly transport-minded “Crazy Train”. Sometimes its deviations are even worse, most notably on the bafflingly-placed ballad “Broken Wings”, second on the album, which ends with the tinkle of a chime tree. DAMN FREAKS are decent, and the album is solid, but it does not stand out. A phrase of advertising copy from label Mighty Music is revealing: “Songs such as ‘Dream Highway’ or…’Break the Chains’ need to be listened at maximum volume when driving your car while stuck in everyday traffic.” In other words, the best time to listen to some of this album’s material is when you literally have to sit still and look straight ahead – that is to say, when you have literally no other choice.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 2
Production: 8
Memorability: 2

2 Star Rating

1. Break the Chains
2. Broken Wings
3. Take A Ride
4. Secret Path
5. Sea of Love
6. The Way I Feel
7. Dream Highway
8. Poison Apple
9. Burning Up
Iacopo Meille: Vocals
Marco Torri: Guitars
Claudio Rogai: Bass
Matteo Panichi: Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music:


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Edited 16 July 2018

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