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Critic's Pick

Never a band to enjoy a stable lineup, the Damned has reshuffled again and again but this time around has hit on a formidable combination: original singer Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible at the helm; Vanian's goth-diva wife, Patricia Morrison (Gun Club, Sisters of Mercy), on bass; Pinch (English Dogs) on drums; and Monty Oxy Moron on keyboards. Alas, the re-formed group has no space for original drummer and quintessential punk personality Rat Scabies, but the schism hasn't dulled the Damned, as evinced by the brand-new yet familiar Grave Disorder. The set list is weighted with latter-day material, but old favorites like "Smash It Up" and "Neat Neat Neat" are sure to be plundered as well. It took the Offspring to restart the Damned's career, but it's still great to have the legendary protopunks around nearly 25 years after their start.
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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

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