Damage Manual (The) - Damage Manual, The (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 May 2010
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The Damage Manual's self-titled debut full-length isn't quite as exciting as their preceding EP, but that can be attributed to sheer length and clutter; the old farts appear to be better suited to short bursts rather than 70-minute sittings. And what's up with all the remixes? Between One and The Damage Manual, you get 12 original versions and eight remixes. The full-length is pretty much half original and half not. Yeah, yeah, that's what a program button is for, and who the hell can tell a remix from an original version these days anyhow? But seriously, this would be more effective with less pointless remixes and some quality control. And does Bill Laswell really need any more work? The most prolifically mediocre artist of the last decade mixes and remixes five tracks; why couldn't Martin Atkins or any of the others do the duties? Although the record seems to have more reasons for complaint than praise, it can't be denied as a strong record and a highlight of the Invisible catalog. (Whether that's saying much or not is up to you.) Whoever was responsible for this matching of giants (likely Atkins) needs a pat on the back. Each of the distinct members bring their originality to the table without having their talents trip over each other. Chris Connelly (that voice), Jah Wobble (that bass), Atkins (those drums) and Geordie Walker (that guitar) all contribute heartily and passionately, as if each of them were still in their mid-20s. Nasty, gritty, crunchy, and vicious as hell, The Damage Manual comes dangerously close to matching the meaner-spirited moments of Primal Scream's XTRMNTR (also released in 2000) -- but since this material is more true to the members' lengthy histories, it's more convincing. Hopefully this doesn't get lost in the murk of numerous post-industrial, post-punk, post-whatever releases. ~ Andy Kellman
Release Date: 10 May 2010

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Catalogue No: CD420169