“The Rockfield Files” EP

By Octopi Mills

This is the new 4 song EP by the legendary group THE DAMNED, who have been called lots of things; goth rock, punk, rockabilly, etc. etc, so it is certainly not my place to name the style as it seems to be a hybrid of the above mentioned and times, less. This looks to be a Spinefarm Records release and the cover shows the band petting a cow or perhaps a randy bull by a fence.Haha, this foreshadows some of the jolly vibe of the record, surely."Keep Em Alive" is the first song on the affair, and is said to be about a species of the bees, who are disappearing. The sound of this could be called retro, and it does have the feeling of a band who have been around for awhile and have a knowing course of where they are heading. There is a happy feeling here, with David Vanian's signature vocals adding to the song.

Apparently the place they have recorded it is a place revisited once again where previous recordings were done many moons before. I must state, foremost, that I am not a historian of the band but enjoyed some past things they have done, though my wife would have a far better knowing of their past than I. "Manipulator" is common man's rock and roll with a jolly olde feeling and British in its ancestry. "The Spider , The Fly" carries the same feel as the others, driven by an upbeat manner and has a near old pop feel from the early 80's. "Black is the Night" is the last song and it has that old crooner feel at first before it turns into something like a David Bowie thing then regresses back to the original form before changing around in motley garb at the end.

 In this age where bands often change their style to suit the times, this is certainly not the case here, as it sounds as if it could have been one of their old albums were it not for the production. The sound is clear and one can hear the experience in the band. The instrumentation is handled on a professional level and the production allows all the band to be heard here. Of all songs, I felt closer to this last one, and it ends, leaving this author with little else to say. This should be good to all DAMNED fans, and I hear they are doing a tour, if I am correct. Though it twas a short running time, perhaps more is ahead for them very soon, eh? I shall sign off now and wish you all good black night ahead.