What do you do when you get the second album from a band that you thought would never record a follow-up? For starters, you can begin by thanking your lucky stars, especially when the sophomore record surpasses your expectations on what the band was capable of putting into existence. High Crimes delivers all over on the raw, yet incredibly catchy follow-up to The Damned Things debut, Ironiclast.
High Crimes erupts in chaos and into a wall of sound from the opening notes of “Cells,” with some sped-up guitars courtesy of Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy) and Scott Ian (Anthrax), and the trademark wail of vocalist Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die). The truck pulsates with the drumming of Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) and bassist, Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio). As far as “supergroups” are concerned, The Damned Things have no shortage of talent in every facet of their attack.
When it started so many years ago, and people were saying that is was a supergroup, I didn’t like that tag. I didn’t like what it implied. I didn’t want to just come together and try to sell it because of these names are in it. I wanted it to be a band. So when we kind of split off and went our own ways, and I realized that we weren’t coming back anytime soon. I was like, “Fck, it was what I didn’t want it to be.” And I realize after that it had become that. And it was exactly what people were framing it out to be. And, fck, I was so mad about it and really hurt that it wasn’t happening again and weren’t doing it again.
“There were so many different personalities rearing their head on our last record; it was like we were all trying to represent the bands from which we came, and it ended up not being loyal to any of them,” he continues. “It was a strange mix of styles, and at the time, I appreciated it because I was working with geniuses and icons, but having sat on that album for 10 years, and with it just being Andy, Joe, Scott and I this time around, we’ve come out with something that feels like the stuff [we] should’ve been writing in the first place. This is rawer, less polished and less self-aware than last time. High Crimes is fun music with a cool attitude to it.”
“While we have more than enough material for an EP, we are still very much in the “demo” phase,” he told AP, “rearranging riffs and trying different things vocally. And though it’s a little too early to say what the next release will sound like comprehensively, we’ve taken a different approach to writing this time around. Things are more atmospheric and weirder. We’ve loosened up a bit and learned to let our major influences speak. In that way, it’s the truest sound we’re capable of,” said Buckley.