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512eQXCamhL. SL160 If you’ve ever wondered what a big 70’s rock record would sound like created in the here and now, THE DAMNED THINGS are worth a listen as that’s just what they’ve set out to do on their Mercury Records debut, IRONICLAST.

With groove-driven riffage courtesy of ANTHRAX guitarists SCOTT IAN and ROB CAGGIANO, and former FALL OUT BOY axe-slinger JOE TROHMAN, the band finds itself roaring through a 40-minute set of straight-up rock jams. EVERY TIME I DIE frontman KEITH BUCKLEY handles vocal duties, and while respectful of the intended outcome, often comes up a bit short.

Buckley’s vocal stylings hardly bring the album down as a whole, but they come off as somewhat too clean, never building into the type of aggressiveness that would’ve been a perfect compliment to the music on which they ride.

Many of the album’s strongest cuts arrive around the halfway mark, with “We’ve Got A Situation Here,” “Black Heart,” and “Grave Robber” placing themselves among the standouts on IRONICLAST.

Rating: 3.5/5

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