In “Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)”, The Damned Things frontman Keith Buckley (of Every Time I Die) sings “all I want is another good time”, and from here, we get what this new heavy metal/rock group is all about. Featuring Buckley and Josh Newton from ETID alongside Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano from Anthrax and the other two guys from Fall Out Boy, The Damned Things do their best to bring what Motley Crue, Anthrax and Thin Lizzy have done in the past into the present. Not surprisingly, it’s what you’d expect if you mashed Anthrax with Fall Out Boy; heavy metal riffing, cigarette/booze-laden vocals and the melodic chops of mainstream pop punk.
Tracks like the aforementioned “Friday Night” and “Bad Blood” are the kind of brooding metal/rock hybrid that would easily kick start your Friday night party. Alcohol soaked, drug-fueled and cavorting half-naked women of the night is the best visual description of what The Damned Things sound like. It’s cheesy, but certainly balls out, and the potential for some of these tracks to be become staples at the strip club is high.
Songs like “We’ve Got a Situation” however, while plugged in diligently into the heavy metal psyche, are a little too meandering and play on just a little bit too long. But Keith Buckley is no slouch, and easily one of the best frontmen in metal/rock today. He’s got the kind of vocal swagger that made the likes of Vince Neil and Axl Rose household names through the 80s.
“A Great Reckoning” is a stand out track, and it’s a ballad. And if The Damned Things can make a ballad rock, they’ve got to be pretty damn good.