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TRACK LIST: 1. Raw 4:05 2. Alice 4:19 3. Savage Song 4:28 4. Damage Control 5:07 5. One Step Closer 6:39 6. Selfish 5:38 7. Spy 4:24 8. Redundant 5:16 9. Slaughtered 3:11 10. Victim 5:05 11. Seven Golden Daffodils 4:02 12. Bitching Blues 5:00 LINEUP: Robin George – guitars, vocals Pete Way – bass, vocals Chris Slade – drums
Prolusion. DAMAGE CONTROL is a UK-based band formed in 2006, consisting of veteran drummer Chris Slade (Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Uriah Heep, Asia, AC/DC, The Firm, and quite a few others), veteran bass player Pete Way (UFO), English AOR musician Robin George and former Quireboys vocalist Spike. They released their debut album in 2007, and since then vocalist Spike has left the band, and they have decided to continue as a trio with Way and George taking over vocals.
Analysis. "Raw" is basically a remake of their self-titled debut album, with ten tracks from that one and two new compositions. Musically we're talking blues-inspired rock on this release. The album kicks off with a trio of hard rock tunes with noticeable blues influences, and then steadily evolves towards a more purified blues rock style until the album ends with the gritty, slide guitar dominated tune Bitching Blues. People with more experience of the genre than me can probably point to influences left and right here. Personally I only identified one: ZZ Top as they sounded in the early '70s; not on all tracks, but three tunes in particular would not have been out of place on an album by Texas’ bearded finest; namely Damage Control, One Step Closer and the aforementioned Bitching Blues. The opening hard rock songs do set this release apart from others in the blues rock field to some extent, but more importantly the guitar sound of Robin George, highly distorted and fuzzy, still slick, distinct and very melodic, creates a trademark sound for this band. Slade is an experienced drummer, and utilizes his skill and experience cleverly here to create driving and interesting rhythms as the backbone for these tunes, and Pete Way does a swell job here too. The songs as such are a tad varied in quality as I hear them though. Especially the more heavily blues influenced tracks become a tad anonymous. It takes great skill to make something sound interesting in a style that has been explored for so many years by such vast amounts of artists, and although never bad, these tunes don't shine brightly either, although Seven Golden Daffodils and Bitching Blues are notable exceptions. Alice is my top pick from this release though, a slick tune with nice grooves and a very catchy chorus. Raw and Savage Song are other strong tunes worth checking out.
Conclusion. Fans of blues based hard rock and blues rock will probably love this release, and I feel quite safe in recommending this release to fans of these types of music.
OMB: June 1, 2008
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