Damaged Purified In Pain

It sounds strange when you say it but Australia's Damaged is a band that benefits from bad production and an uneven mix. They are a band of extreme velocity, herky-jerky tempo changes and lethal metallic hardcore riffs. The fact that the guitar has an odd drainpipe feel to it, strangely complemented by the non-existent bass and drums that sound as if they were constructed from the leftovers of six separate kits, adds to the chaotic feel. Chris Hill, a man who has carpal tunnel syndrome in his future, slices and dices with six-string precision, leaping between hardcore, thrash, grind, black metal and layered Napalm Death-style runs while Matt Sanders uses all six of his limbs to keep the rhythmic calamity and mayhem kicking along. Then there's new singer Kevin Sharp, who apparently long ago forsook cigarette filters and spitting out his mouthwash. Christ only knows what he's singing about, but damn if he doesn't sound scary singing it, especially on "Cyberwar" and "Conman," two of the most unbalanced musical dervishes I've heard this year. (Rotten)