I’m going to level with you: I am a rubbish music listener. I have no attention span and I’m snarky and judgmental. So, when I read Melbourne-based Damn Terran’s online bio and it threatened me with “a dexterous blend of proto-garage rock and heavy-hearted introspect”, my eyes narrowed and I started looking up polite synonyms for “bleh”.

Thankfully, I persevered, because giving their self-titled album a half-assed review would have done it a disservice. When this album gets it right, it’s the kind of music that makes you want to thrash around a pub and spill beer on yourself – fuzzy guitars, scream-able lyrics and the kind of driving bass rhythm that means you wake up the next morning with a post-head banging neck ache.

‘Rebels’ is a highlight, showcasing bass player and vocalist Ali Edmonds’ big voice. I’m a sucker for a soaring female vocal in my scummy rock tunes and ‘Rebels’ is perfect. ‘Pills’ (featuring Shane Parsons of DZ Deathrays) opens with the line, “Hey I wanna know, if you’ll still like me when you’re not on pills”, and could probably have been written about every relationship I’ve ever had. ‘In Your Dreams’ is a fantastically chugging closer to the album.

Unfortunately, the group sometimes goes off track, losing the fun and veering into the kind of tedious musical build ups and boring introspective lyrics that make me tune out. Songs like ‘Lost’ feel uncomfortably close to reading a teenager’s diary and ‘Burlesque Dancer’ feels kind of gross, like listening to the inner monologue of a drunk guy watching a strip show.

Damn Terran is a band with a lot of potential and this album is really great in parts, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that they’d probably be a lot more fun live.


Alex Johnson

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