Reviews Search


This is the debut selftitled album by The Damage Manual, following up the debut "1" EP fromthis past April, due out September 5th. The band'soutput, not surprisingly, draws heavily upon the collective input ofthe lengthy, intertwining resumes of it's four members - Chris Connelly(Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Murder Inc., etc.), Jah Wobble (PublicImage Ltd., numerous solo and collaborative projects), Geordie Walker(Killing Joke, Murder Inc.) and Martin Atkins (Ministry, Pigface,Murder Inc., etc.). A neatly packaged dream come true for many fans ofpunk/post-punk and modern 'industrial' rock. "King Mob" and "Denial" doit slow and hard with PiL "Metal Box" era slow bass lines and schrapnelguitar, thunderous beats and Connelly's half spoken/half sung and sexysmooth crooner vocals, respectively. "Age of Urges", "Sunset Gun" and"Stateless" explode with guitars and beats while Connelly resurrectshis Revco primal screams, especially on the latter one. "Top TenSevered", an observation on the sad state of affairs in the world ofmusic, alternates between lush, quiet sections and heavy guitar drivensections. "The Peepshow Ghosts", which was originally a solo Connellylove song, is now an even sexier, rockin' love song. "Expand" and"Broadcasting", both fairly tedious, really remind me of the moreexperimental drum and vocal driven PiL of the early '80s. Some violin,saxophone, sitar, vinyl scratches and drum loops appear here and there,as well as synth work by Lee "Bagman" Fraser of Sheep on Drugs, butalmost as an afterthought when compared to what the main members aredoing. There are too many hands at the mixing desk for the album's 9main tracks (Bill Laswell, Atkins, Walker and engineer Jason McNinch)which makes for a strange sounding album as Laswell's mixes are heavyon the bass and the others moreso on the guitar. Laswell, The Orb andJah Wobble also man the desks on the final 4 tracks, which are simplyoverkill remixes of album and EP tracks, all of which are good but nonebetter than the originals. "The Damage Manual" isn't perfect, but it'sa fine debut and makes good on what the hype promised. The bottom lineis this: these guys might be in their mid '30s to early '40s but don'tput them out to pasture just yet. They still want to rock and theystill do rock. I'm really looking forward to being pounded by thislive. A North American tour will hopefully commence later this fall ...