Damn 13

Black Heart Northern Soul

BY Kendall ShieldsPublished Aug 1, 2005

The dark skulls, black spades, violet roses, green flames, and symmetrical snakes that constitute Black Heart Northern Soul’s album art tells you exactly what Damn 13 are up to: straight ahead sleazy hard rock’n’roll. Gone are the industrial flourishes of Adam Doom (née Sewell)’s Monster Voodoo Machine, and in their stead we find heel-walking blues-inflected hard rock at its finest. Brief forays into the tempos of hardcore punk ("Crypt Kickers 416”) and the harmonised guitar leads of the heavy metal of a generation ago ("One Bullet”) show Damn 13’s outer limits, but the riot rock centre of their sound is where the real action goes down. Even the closing acoustic number ("Anywhere But Here”), which features the sassily soulful vocals of Love Inc.’s Simone Denny, and which has the potential for complete ridiculousness, works surprisingly well. Damn 13 play rock’n’roll, simply and expertly.

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