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Music Review: Damage Control – Raw

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Wow, what a line up this is! On Damage Control's second album we have guitar hero Robin George; UFO & Waysted bass legend Pete Way; and former Uriah Heep, AC/DC, Asia, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, and The Firm drummer Chris Slade.

Together they form a self confessed "unholy trinity" brought to life by the need to whip up some of the best, full on, "in your face", uncomplicated rock I have heard in many a misspent night.

Putting their album Raw into your CD player is like lighting the blue touch paper and not having the sense to retreat back to a safe distance. This is everything the album title suggests with Damage Control living up to their promise of serving up some “cruel, hard, and brutal”, yet “fun” rock.

The pedigree is self evident and their instinctive understanding gels like some dangerous concoction. It smokes, it fizzes, it smolders and it’s in danger of setting the place alight. It’s gritty, it’s raunchy, and it’s downright dirty. It’s full of sleazy riffs. It’s Raw, and it’s right up my street!

Okay, let’s talk about that pedigree. In 1985 Robin George released an excellent solo album called Dangerous Music. It fulfilled much of that potential that would see him working with the likes of David Byron, Phil Lynott, and John Wetton. He even recorded separate projects with Glenn Hughes and Robert Plant both of which were destined to remain unreleased for many years.

Robin’s career also saw the release of the superb Rock Of Ageists album and a growing reputation as a producer working with Diamond Head, Witchfinder General, and (here’s the connection) UFO bass player Pete Way’s band Waysted.

Wayward Way was, and is once again, the mainstay bassist in UFO the band he left to form Fastway with ex Motorhead guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke. Then came a spell with Ozzy Osbourne before he finally reunited with UFO.

This isn’t Damage Control’s first album. In 2006 they released their self-titled debut which featured the Quireboys' own Spike on vocals. Now with Raw they set about recording something that “did not have a single effect on the whole album, no echo, no reverbs, no aural embellishments whatsoever”.

So Raw was born. It hits all the targets with a relentless stomp of quality British hard rock riffs that has the vocals covered this time by Robin and Pete. This pairing comes together brilliantly on “Bitchin’ Blues” which sees Robin take the chorus from Pete’s verses.

“Slaughtered” comes with a large slice of country blues. It's sung by Robin and includes the great line, “I like a lot of whiskey with my water.”

Meanwhile, the track “Damage Control” has one of those aforementioned down and dirty riffs. The sleazy blues of “Victim”, leads nicely into the sultry smolder that is “Seven Golden Daffodils”.

Other highlights include the seductive opener “Raw”, the infectious pairing of “Alice” and “Savage Song.” The grinding “One Step Closer” just demands to be replayed time and again. “Selfish” teases us down, as does the excellent stand out “Redundant”, both of which radiate all the raw quality that you could ever want.

This band is a three headed monster that seizes you by the throat and throttles you into submission. With a line-up like this, and the understanding they have, Raw just cannot fail to produce something attention grabbing.

For more information please log on to the bands own website. Or you can follow the links above to each individual member's own website and previous Eurorock reviews on Blogcritics.

To find out about more Angel Air Records releases please go to their page.

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About Jeff Perkins