By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
If there is one thing that my friend, Rockaholic, knows it is discovering or rediscovering new groups. He has really good taste, eh sometimes. LOL! I will say this, he recently put me in the direction of a supergroup that has been around on-and-off for a decade, and are recently reuniting with a new record and tour. They call themselves The Damned Things, and they are nothing quite what I expected. This band that originated from New York consisted of members from Anthrax (rhythm guitarist Scott Ian), Fall Out Boy (lead guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley), Every Time I Die (vocalist Keith Buckley), and Alkaline Trio (bassist Dan Andriano). All five members from different backgrounds of rock come together their unique blend of heavy metal and hard rock. It’s been nearly a decade since they released their critical lauded debut LP, Ironiclast, but they have returned with their latest work, High Crimes. On May 1st, the band came through the Whisky a-Go Go, so Rockaholic, Rabit, our buddy Kevin Nelson (aka Bass Master), and I headed out to the Strip once again.
After the opening groups did their thing, we chilled until it was time to rock out with our fists up in the air. The Damned Things then walked down the stairs, and were off and running with “Ironiclast.” Ian crosses the line between metal aggression and melodic swiftness. When it comes to rhythmic guitarists in general, you have to put him in Top 5 or Top 10, depending on who you are. Buckley brings his Southern rock swagger to the mic, with a bit of metalcore flare. He is calm and collected on stage when he needs to be, but he will go on a rampage on stage when he feels like. Trohman and Hurley really surprised me because I am used to the pop punk sound they are used to generating in Fall Out Boy. When they are in The Damned Things, they become whole new beasts. Trohman plays some real slick licks, while Hurley is in rapid-fire mood behind the kit. Andriano is the newest member (replacing original bassist and Every Time I Die bandmate Josh Newton), but he plays like a seasoned pro in this group. The crowd threw up their horns in respect for the group’s melodic hard rock tunes. They played a solid mixture of stuff from both Ironiclast and High Crimes, which included “Friday Night (Going Down in Flames),” “Omen,” “Let Me Be (Your Girl),” “Cells,” “A Great Reckoning,” “Black Heart,” “Invincible,” “Graverobber,” “We’ve Got a Situation Here,” and my personal favorite, “Something Good,” which I see as their twisted take on “Hey Mickey!”
Full The Damned Things gallery below:
Clearly I was expecting something a little more forceful, but I really dug the melodic nature that The Damned Things was producing that night. The Whisky was lucky to get these guys in there venue. While the members have their own main bands to deal with, I really hope it does not take them that long to put out new music again or tour. They kicked tremendous ass, and the crowds will be back once they return. Praise be to Rockaholic for pointing them in my direction. To The Damned Things, I salute you. Horns up!!!