Dealing With Damage are a post-punk melodic hardcore band who have been compared to bands such as Buzzcocks, Fugazi, Rites of Spring and Soulside. Ed Wenn (formerly The Stupids), James Sherry (formerly Done Lying Down), Paul Grier and Andy Myers make up this four-piece that sprung from London in 2015.
This is the first album in a long time that has made me laugh out loud while listening to it – in a great way. It is different, it has a deep message, but it also has whimsy. It’s like skipping through radio stations – across genres, countries and time. Like someone took out their record collection, melted it down and made one, pristine LP of the overall voice of punk throughout the ages. Written, recorded and produced throughout lockdown ‘Use the Daylight’ is a great punk album to kick off 2023.
One to be listened to from start to finish ‘Use the Daylight’ takes you from sunrise to sunset. A metaphorical day, a life, several eras. It’s not often I take a new album for a walk for the first time listening. I’m glad I did with this one, rain-soaked – my jacket protecting my headphones, I danced through the muddy trenches of the park. On a journey of music that conjured up countless half-forgotten memories. The iron message that pipelines through the album shines through as the tracks amalgamate; be a decent person, be happy, you’re great, everyone is great – except racists.
There are too many relatable references to try and shoehorn this record. In some tracks they sound like a happy Morrisey, in others they’re closer to GBH. Placebo even got a look in at one point. I think I heard half a song in Dutch – let me know if I am wrong about this! Let’s stay with – they’re post-punk, and they’re good.
‘Sunrise’ sets the album off with a guest appearance of Carol Hodge on vocals. A poetic, semi-dreamy step into the rest of the tracklist.
‘Keep Moving’ is a nice little track. It’s uplifting and twitches your ears back into the music. A friendly reminder to keep going in life. Poignantly, I was walking up a hill when it came on and, I have to say – it felt good!
‘Letter from Yootha’ is one of my favourite tracks on the album, co-written with DWD and Yootha Today. It’s a mash-up of voices and noises, felt like I was at a party it has a rhythm and vibe of its own.
‘Johns Gone’ is a tribute to John Hannon, DWD producer and friend who passed away suddenly in 2021 after half of ‘Use the Daylight’ was recorded.
“This album is dedicated with oceans of love to the memory of our dear friend, John Hannon; an inspirational musician, an innovative recording engineer, our favourite storyteller and someone whose perspective and humour we are poorer without.”
‘Sunset’ reminds us that our time on this earth is as fleeting as a sunset to ‘drink deep every second of the daylight that you’re given while you’re here.’
Dealing with Damage – check them out, give them a listen and see what you think!
Use the Daylight is out on 27th January, you can download it here.