Ironiclast review by The Damned Things

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  • Released: Dec 14, 2010
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.5 (54 votes)
The Damned Things: Ironiclast
0

Sound — 6
Think back to 2009 when the news of this project broke. We all struggled to envisage a way in which all three contributing parties (Anthrax, Fall Out Boy and Every Time I Die) could have had their voices heard on a single record. Contrary to popular belief, musicians are capable of working in more sounds than the one they are famous for, but with Ironiclast' it sounds like an explosive culture clash has left the band in a Wild West fallout.

Every Time I Die's fingerprints are smeared all over this record it's their all-American swagger that gives Ironiclast' its whole aesthetic. It's a throwback to classic hard rock and blues, but one with post-modern awareness and, it's safe to say, a lot more bite than most classic rock records. Guitarist and producer Rob Cagganio's experience with metal and hardcore mixing has certainly helped him harness the power of a six-piece, three-guitar band. Going beyond that, we start to hear more melodic material and it's at this point that the album's major flaw makes itself apparent; nobody expected this to sound like Fall Out Boy and it is, right enough, a world apart in terms of timbre but those vocal hooks have forced their way in. Even with Keith Buckley's bluesy, beardy twinge they are unmistakably born from the school of Stump and Wentz. It's tune-writing ability that, while admirable, simply hasn't adapted to the rough-and-tumble of hard rock, and doesn't sit quite right in this context.

Lyrics — 7
If you need to bring a spot of class to proceedings, you can always count on ETID's Keith Buckley. His note-perfect performance renders him unrecognisable at first; with a well-oiled (and possibly sober) band behind him he doesn't fit as snugly as you may have hoped. There's no doubt that the aforementioned melodic writing is to blame for that, though, as he more than conveys his considerable talent. His lyrics are also of a high quality, and have been revised to fit the Damned Things framework. His razor-sharp tongue has, to an extent, been blunted and removed from the cheek but this album could have fallen flat on its face with an average singer and lyricist and Keith Buckley is neither of these things.

Overall Impression — 6
Forming this band was a fanciful escape from the norm for Trohman & co, but the fun factor is diluted too often to really have an impact. The album improves towards the end (Graverobber' and the title track), where Buckley finally settles into his usual mode of address, the Anthrax guitarists get down and dirty and generally everyone finds a healthy medium and sticks to it.

This is the sort of thing you'd play to your dad to prove that they still make em like they used to' truth is that they don't, but Ironiclast' is a valiant effort which is worth an inspection from the curious and obsessive. At least Kerrang! TV won't be running out of music to use on ad bumpers any time soon.

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Unknown Fear
    I only heard a couple songs, but really enjoyed them even though I don't like much from FoB, ETID, or Anthrax. Also, the music video for whatever the single is called is very well done, I recommend it to anyone new to this band.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    you know i dont think its such a bad thing for there to be very obvious sounding fob melodies thrown in there. ive heard two of the songs and so far i can hear each members specific backgrounds and i think it meshes really well
    ckragh
    I can see and understand the various viewpoints on it posted here but I personally love it. I'm a big fan of ETID and love the way Keith sings on the record so maybe that has a lot to do with it but I can stop listening to it.
    iSerg3G
    So much judgement from this review ._. In my opinion, I honestly like them a lot. My favorites are Handbook for the Recently Deceased, Bad Blood, Friday Night, and Graverobber. And I don't listen to neither Anthrax (I know, I'm retarded and I'm going to start soon xD), FOB, and I listen to a few of ETID, and I don't see what's so bad about them going in the direction they went, it sounds great, and I was honestly surprised seeing FOB members were gonna be in the band! But overall, a great band, I enjoy listening to them and they're really great and I highly recomend them for anyone from my point a view (someone who hasn't really listened to either of the 3 bands they came from) cause then otherwise, there wouldn't be all this comparison to the original group and shit. But overall, great band, worth the money, and like I said, I was very surprised hearing the members of FOB from them
    ChemyVamp
    jsyk Patrick Stump wrote most of fall out boy's music... Throhman's work in Fall Out Boy was like 10% of it all
    clockwise86
    Skinny91 wrote: Can someone please point out to me these "Fall Out Boy" influence's? I'm not bashing, but I streamed the album on here and I didn't notice anything that would resemble them. The review mentions vocal hooks but I thought Keith Buckley wrote all the lyrics? That's what the interview with Joe Trohman said anyway.
    There really aren't any, except the vocal melody in The Great Reckoning. Too many people have decided, because it has FOB members who at one point had a conversation with the glitter-glam queen Wentz, that it must be exactly like FOB. Too bad for them because this album is truly impressive. Buckley's vocals are outstanding, and the instrumentals are hard hitting in a way that has been sorely lacking in music as of late.
    mustainex2000
    How cool can be for a member of fall out boy WTF jam with Scott Ian? Seriously, is a good record, not amazing, but they can recreate really cool ideas ...
    DickHardwood
    This review is not really objective..obviously written by an ETID fan since the reviewer rarely takes his mouth off of Buckley's scrotum.The melodic writting combined with the hard elements gives this band a very distinctive sound and I loved the album..looking forward to hearing more stuff from them.
    Lion_Slicer
    ^ I agree Skinny. I listened to the album three times in a row, and besides the fact that Trohman can write catchy hooks I don't see anything "unmistakably born from the school of Stump and Wentz." Neither of them have anything to do with this album, I feel like giving them such an undeserved mention is just fanning the flames... Besides, those hooks are given an entirely new context given the rest of the band, and I found this album very enjoyable. And I didn't see any of this "culture clash," I felt like the different members agreed on what kind of music they wanted to make and went after it. At the most, I'll agree that I prefer Keith in front of the barely controlled chaotic tangle of ETID, but that's probably just because that's what I'm used to. All in all I think this album is a job well done.
    Skinny91
    Can someone please point out to me these "Fall Out Boy" influence's? I'm not bashing, but I streamed the album on here and I didn't notice anything that would resemble them. The review mentions vocal hooks but I thought Keith Buckley wrote all the lyrics? That's what the interview with Joe Trohman said anyway.
    DickHardwood
    Scourge441 wrote: DickHardwood wrote: This review is not really objective. There is no such thing as an objective review.
    There's truth in that,but over here we have an Every Time I Die fan bitching about FOB similarities.When you review something your standpoint shouldnt be "I like hardcore music,so if it's not hardcore it's not good".
    MadroneBass
    Now I haven't heard anything from the group, but hearing the complaints in the article makes me a bit skeptical to its bias. Vocal hooks and straightforward lyrics get downvotes for this album? You're giving them a bad review because of the things that make popular music popular. It sounds like the group hasn't found its direction quite yet, which is expected of any supergroup's first effort. I'm still waiting to see what direction Them Crooked Vultures will take as their first album explored every aspect of its contributing members' former projects. That should also be expected of The Damned Things. To dock points for a band consisting of Anthrax, fall out boy, and ETID for sounding like a mix of Antrhax, FOB, and ETID is just ludicrous. You got what you payed for.
    piszczel
    just had a quick listen to a random song on myspace, and even though i cant judge the whole record, i really liked it at first and them bam - the chorus sounds as if it was taken out of a pop song, just doesnt fit at all and ruins the song i think. disappointed.
    elvor0
    I think the one thing that ruined the album to me was the fact that Keith Buckly sort of ended up sticking out too much, and I noticed him far more than anyone else, which ok is pretty obvious given he's the singer, but it made it seem a bit TOO much like ETID, not to say that he isnt a good lyricist and vocalist, just I'm not a massive fan, and I was kinda hoping the hardcore influence would be lessened, and it would be a bit more hard rock and roll.
    EpiExplorer
    Kind of a shame, I found a few songs to be promising. Rest of the albums a bit samey and the FB influence sometimes hurts to hear.
    SGofawesome
    ...very biased review... I haven't even heard the album yet and I can already tell this review is biased...
    axeslinger0u812
    The problem with all supergroups: expectations. Fans of each individual band want to hear that band's sound, while people who don't like any of the groups will always tend to hear the things they didn't like from the individual pieces. I think the person who wanted an "objective" review was looking for more of an open-minded review from someone who didn't have a bias against any of the band members previous work, which this reviewer obviously brought in regarding FOB. I personally was looking for a little more bite from this record, but was impressed that any cohesion happened at all, really. There's potential for a really good album from these guys, and I think they could potentially lock in with the next album. It's a lot easier to write for a band when you know what the finished product is supposed to resemble. Get some touring under their belts, play the style for a year, and who knows.
    Amuro Jay
    DickHardwood wrote: Scourge441 wrote: DickHardwood wrote: This review is not really objective. There is no such thing as an objective review. There's truth in that,but over here we have an Every Time I Die fan bitching about FOB similarities.When you review something your standpoint shouldnt be "I like hardcore music,so if it's not hardcore it's not good".
    I'd be willing to bet that Duncan isn't an ETID fan.
    codylovefnzp
    jammyninja wrote: Wow, a "Fall Out Boy suckz" type review on UG....what a suprise.
    ^lmao.
    equinox32393
    All I have to say is this is a crappy review. It had to have been reviewed by the one guy who wasnt involved in the ten thousand other articles about The Damned Things. If you are going to review this album lowly UG Team, then why have so much hype and have it stream early on here?
    Mattpm13
    I have this album and I love it. I've listening to it at least once a day since it came out. I recommend it (obviously).
    JBailey23
    crazysam23_Atax wrote: Based on this review, not sure I'd wanna buy it... Damn you, duncang! Now I'm on the fence.
    dude buy it, its a great rock and roll album all the way through...this review doesnt do it justice at all
    Scourge441
    DickHardwood wrote: This review is not really objective.
    There is no such thing as an objective review.
    sgwielder
    I've gotta say I thought the second half to be slightly weaker, though it's growing on me. The title track in particular hasn't really hit home for me. Lots I would disagree with in this review, but lots I would agree with too.
    E2theJay
    .... Keith Buckley an average vocalist and lyricist?..... Sounds lk a FOB hate thread to me haha
    Rockinguitar
    Shazazmic wrote: mustainex2000 wrote: How cool can be for a member of fall out boy WTF jam with Scott Ian? Seriously, is a good record, not amazing, but they can recreate really cool ideas ... Bumblebeetuna?
    +1 for you, good sir!
    Shazazmic
    mustainex2000 wrote: How cool can be for a member of fall out boy WTF jam with Scott Ian? Seriously, is a good record, not amazing, but they can recreate really cool ideas ...
    Bumblebeetuna?
    Oosh.
    I first listened to this album without a clue of what to expect, being a big Anthrax fan. I was very suprised with the sound of the album, i thought that it would be very Fall Out Boy but i found that there is a heavier influence, obviously coming from the Anthrax boys. Overall not super keen on it but the album does have a few good songs.