Punk at its finest
Though always eclipsed by the gob-soaked shadows of the Pistols and The Clash, The Damned were the punk band who did everything first. ‘New Rose’ was the first great British punk single, while ‘Damned Damned Damned’ appeared before a note of ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ was laid down. Thirty years on, its rawness and immediacy will still take your breath away. The psychobilly impatience of ‘Neat Neat Neat’ remains as perfect an album opener as any since; the thunder of Rat Scabies on drums lets you hear why your dad always said he was the best. And frontman Dave Vanian is leaving little proto-goth notes all over the shop for Faris Rotter. If this album appeared now, you’d be storming the ramparts of NME Towers demanding this lot get covers every week.