‘Evil Spirits’ is the first new album in ten years from British punk rock icons The Damned, released today via Search And Destroy / Spinefarm Records. The album is theresult of a frantic, high-energy burst of creativity in October of 2017 at Atomic Sound studios in Brooklyn, recorded by legendary producer Tony Visconti. and with ‘Black Album’ and ‘Strawberries’-era bassist Paul Gray back in the fold.
“We deliberately recorded the album retro style,” explains guitarist Captain Sensible. “The same way our debut album was made, basically. There’s something wonderful about the seventies sounds; glam, rock and punk records, they all sound so great and Tony specializes in beautifully crafted old school production. He had us all playing live, bashing it out in the same room with a focus on getting the initial band version of each song as close as possible to the finished thing.“
The first taste of ‘Evil Spirits’ was heard on lead single ‘Standing On The Edge of Tomorrowa song penned by frontman Dave Vanian that packs a punch and carries a melody that is impossibly hard to shift once heard.
“It’s supposed to be very optimistic, even though it’s about a dark subject,” states Vanian. “As an artist, you can’t help but reflect the times, because that’s what art does. I think we always do it, but in a slightly different way. So a song like ‘Standing…’ may seem quite joyous and uplifting musically,
but some of the lyrics might be about quite dark things. That’s what I’d like to think this album is – an uplifting album, not a moaning old album – not ‘this is terrible, and that’s terrible’, and then not offering any answers. It’s more a case of, ‘If we get it together, maybe we could change things a bit”.
Across the album’s ten-tracks, The Damned get to the root of their collective song-writing and ‘Evil Spirits’ is an album which doesn’t shrink from opposing the dastardly political forces at work in 2018, and indeed triumphs in seeking higher ground, to progress beyond them.
“This album is filled with a lot of influences from our earlier, pre-’70s tastes – the ’60s stuff. ‘Standing…’ is really linked into Joe Meek‘Telstar’, and that kind of stuff,” continues Vanian. At first, I’d said in an interview before we started writing this stuff that the album would be psychedelic, and maybe a trip through the historical side of The Damned, as in what we like. It didn’t happen in the way I thought it would, but it still does the same thing. It still has all that in there, but it’s not as obvious as it could’ve been, which is good. It’s not like pastiches of songs you remember, it’s more a case of, what was great about something you loved as a kid has somehow influenced a guitar sound, or the way the drums are. You might not even know it if you’re one of our younger fans, but if you’re a little older, you’ll hear it, which is kinda cool.” 
 And of the ‘Evil Spirits’ that the album intends to dispel?  “I started buying records in 1967, the Summer of Love,” adds Captain Sensible. “There were so many positive changes happening through the 60s and 70s; civil rights, feminism, the anti-nuclear demos in particular. Whatever happened to all that? Where are today’s anti-war marches? Whatever happened to the beautiful hippy dream of worldwide peace and love?”
Evil Spirits is available on digital download via Spotify and i-Tunes, on CD and 180g vinyl available HERE
            
Photos: Dod Morrison
LIVE SHOWS:
EUROPE:
May 17 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp
May 19 – Lausanne – Les Docks
May 20 – Milan – Magnolia
May 22 – Munich – Strom
May 23 – Berlin – SO36
May 25 – Hamburg – Fabrik
May 26 – Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
May 27 – Amsterdam – Melkweg Oude Zaal
May 29 – Paris – Petit Bain
UK:
June 16 – Birmingham – Genting Arena *
June 17 – Manchester – Arena *
June 19 – Glasgow – The SSE Hydro *
June 20 – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley *

US:
July 1 – Oakland – Burger Boogaloo Festival

July 5 – Vancouver –  Commodore Ballroom
July 6 – Portland – Crystal Ballroom
July 7 – Seattle – Showbox at the Market
UK:
August 22 – Southampton – 02 Guildhall
August 23 – Holmfirth – Holmfirth Picture House
August 24 – Warrington – Warrington Parr Hall
August 25  – Belfast – Belsonic Festival (main support to Stiff Little Fingers)
* supporting the Hollywood Vampires
Dave Vanian sounds as though he relishes every word he sings and Captain Sensible plays out of his skin. But it’s the rhythm section of bassist Paul Gray and drummer Pinch that drive this damn fine record to the outer limits.” **** 5 stars Daily Express
“Mindful of their past without being nostalgic, they remain a musical institution to be treasured.” Daily Mail
“…a highly melodic release with huge hooks and the usual amalgamation of punk, garage, goth, and psych that the band excels at…another great album……not to be missed.” Big Takeover
“A batch of songs that snap and snarl in all the right places.” Uncut
“A welcome return to form.” Vive Le Rock
“The results are terrific.” 4/5 Mojo
“Stands up with the very best of the band’s back catalogue.” Classic Rock
hard-charging ethos accented by smooth hi-fi production and a stylistic debt to pop’s pre-rock era.” Stereogum
The Damned have become, if possible, more eccentric and outrageous as they grow older.”  – The Independent
“The King’s people have drunk from the Fountain of Youth. This truly is a band at the top of its game. Long Live The Damned”
– Louder Than War
The Damned are:
David Vanian – Vocals
Captain Sensible – Guitar
Monty Oxy Moron – Keyboard
Pinch – Drums
Paul Gray – Bass

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