No one wears their influences on their sleeve quite like Damone. The band’s last record “Out Here All Night” was put out by Island Records, and I’m pretty sure Jay-Z had something to do with that. Unfortunately for Damone, Jay-Z isn’t much on the 80s rock and the band’s new full-length effort “Roll the Dice” was released via MySpace as well as a handful of copies through CDBaby. Regrettably, the new disc surpassed its predecessor, and I’m not so sure the masses will get to hear it unless a label picks it up. Where the fuck is Sanctuary when you need it?
Anyways, Damone is back and they haven’t missed a step. At least half of the band’s new record is reminiscent of something 80s or very early 90s. Opener and title track “Roll the Dice” is quite the nostalgic rocker with a chorus borrowed perhaps from Martika’s '91 hit “Toy Soldiers.” The hook is the same even though it’s likely coincidental. What might not be as coincidental is the obvious Motley Crue “Dr. Feelgood" guitar chug on “Bored to Death.” Same can be said of obvious David Lee Roth-inspired rocker “Talk of the Town,” which sounds like an extra cut from Diamond Dave’s “A Little Ain’t Enough” album. There's also an absolutely scorching cover of Guns and Roses' "You Could Be Mine."
When Damone puts all their influences together is when they create a sound all their own, especially with the outstanding “Serial Killer” and the balladry, Night Rangeresque excellence of “When It Ends.” (Seriously, I haven’t heard a better ballad since “Sister Christian.”)
Sure, it’s Skid Row, GNR, the Crue, Joan Jett and just about any song could morph into a Lita Ford tune at the drop of a hat, but find me another band with the balls or talent to pull that off in 2009.
Damone is a great rock band – one of few still plugging along and consistently touring. With any luck, that will stay the case and they’ll get the fair shot they deserve soon with “Roll the Dice.”