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Digging Beneath The Clichés

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 25, 2006 4:47PM

2006_04_damone.jpgOne of our guilty pleasures a year or two ago was the pop-rock combo, fronted by then-teenage singer Noelle, Damone. We knew that the songs were all written by guitarist Dave Pino, who seemed twice the age of the mouthpiece, but we didn’t care. Maybe if Weezer had put out a solid album in the last few years we wouldn’t have been so susceptible to Damone’s charms, but there we were, bopping along with their fizz-spazz tunes reliving the fictional adolescence no one’s ever really had.

The group’s debut got lots of slavering praise from a certain type of middle-aged set of rock-crits but not much love from the actual masses. That’s really too bad since, in our humble opinion, the debut rocked. Also, we never got a chance to see the group live and we really wanted to know how the tunes would hold up.

Well, tonight we get our chance. Damone is opening the all-ages gig at The Beat Kitchen tonight, thus giving everyone an excuse to cut out of work early to catch the band at the ungodly start-time of 6:00pm. Really, who is ready to rock at six?! I guess we will be.

The group is touring behind their sophomore effort, Out Here All Night, sans-Pino. Apparently without him, the group has decided to head directly to the Sunset Strip*, since the new disc is filled with an odd mixture of Cheap Trick pop grinding up against Judas Priest’s buttless chaps. Too be honest, the mixture was a little too over the top for us from time to time. In the interest of full disclosure, we must admit that if we had only listened to the album once, we may have never spun more than a song or two again. Luckily we decided to give it a few more spins in order to be able to honestly gage the show and the additional exposure worked to the group’s advantage.

We had forgotten that the groups’ strength lay in their ability to fashion rock candy out of tired clichés. Upon closer listen we realized that this subversive handicraft was evident in the new batch of tunes and the songs burrowed under the skin with a sudden endorphin rush that revealed their secret pleasures.

In other words, we dug it. And we predict, even at the hideously pre-dusk hour of six o’clock, you’ll dig it too.

*Yes, we are aware that is our second Sunset Strip ref in as many days. We did it on purpose.