Saturday, April 15, 2006

Machine Gun Etiquette (1979) - The Damned

Rat Scabies’ drums come crashing in on a runaway steam engine bound for gory, as bassist Algy Ward tosses coals into the furnace to feed the fury. Dave Vanian snarls petulantly to gloat about impending domination on the charts, with guitarist Captain Sensible barking a scrappy rejoinder: “SECOND TIME AROUND!” After claiming their place in history as the first British punk band to release an album (Damned Damned Damned), but failing to gain respect in the music community, The Damned were roundly panned for their sound-alike sophomore effort Music For Pleasure. Thus, on Machine Gun Etiquette, their third album, they waive their “second time around” in the faces of their critics: let us remind you how you slagged-off Music For Pleasure because we are going to kick your arses with this onslaught! Hence, the machine gun etiquette—indiscriminately gunning down the masses with their sonic salvo.

Facetiously predicting commercial success, Vanian cites their lead-off single, “Love Song,” which immediately precedes “Machine Gun Etiquette” as the album’s opening track. The Clash’s Paul Simenon and Joe Strummer barge in with handclaps as the band stomps to the top of the charts. In under two minutes, The Damned exact revenge by lambasting our brains, excising the will to resist in an auricular lobotomy that begets hebetude.

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