Damage Velocity

Unfortunately, Damage are 20 to 30 years too late. They are succinct, boisterous and know how to write a decent enough alternative rock tune. "What If,” the lead single off their debut Velocity, reached number 13 on a GarageBand.com poll out of more than 13,000 tracks. Yet, the accolade does not award originality, because "What If” is essentially a Guns N’ Roses knock-off, complete with shrieking guitar soloing, high-pitched vocals and a good jolt of testosterone that is injected as brashly as possible. Instead of tracks that hint at a trio attempting to nudge their own creativity within the scene, Velocity is a simple collection of tributes, paraded off as an original LP. Jumping from one alternative-metal track to the next, Damage honours ’70s speed metal, ’80s cock-rock and ’90s grunge simultaneously through phallic riffs, pounding rhythms and a good old power chord or two. There is an "Every Rose Has Its Thorn”-style ballad thrown in as well for good measure. Unfortunately, the cock-rock bar has been set at an insurmountable level, and Damage, as tight and rowdy as they may be, come off more as a well-oiled bar band than an original, inventive rock act. Still, there will always be a market for this slop, and ’80s Rush enthusiasts may find something hidden underneath the ruckus on Velocity. Regardless, rock never stops. Just ask Quiet Riot, Firehouse, Ratt and Cinderella. (Independent)