Rob Jones
A decade has passed since the last long-player, Tony Visconti has taken on production duties and old boy Paul Gray has returned.  Ladies and gentlemen The Damned are back with the Evil Spirits album and the news is that the main influence is not punk rock but the soaring sounds of sixties psychedelia.
Forty-two years on the go and this is not the 70’s noise nuances of New Rose this is more of the 80’s Eloise and alike version of the band turning the clock back twenty years from that point.
Guitarist Captain Sensible states: ‘We deliberately recorded the album retro style. 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 specialises 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’.
Lead singer Dave Vanian syas: ‘It’s supposed to be very optimistic, even though it’s about a dark subject. ‘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’.
As a live entity, The Damned are consummate showmen with the only remaining original members Sensible and Vanian from different planets in appearance but the common bond is that they are both from the real rock n roll hall of fame! The Damned will always play the gothic card and the tones of the vocalist enhance this stance – but, they have proven themselves to be survivors and that the distant past can be a tool for creating the instant now.
This recording takes one on a sonic ride – and, with Visconti at the helm, there is an added attraction. The boys travel on a back to the future rocket that has them prove their worth as one of the most treasured British bands ever. So Damned well done – and, we await a return to Wales for a chance to catch some of these gems live!