Punk-rockers Dealing With Damage release their debut full-length album, ‘Ask the Questions’. A record brimming with anger and frustration that tackles the issues within the modern political climate.
Opening the album is track, ‘Stop Everything’ and immediately the listener is thrust directly into the classic punk sound that permeates the album. Within the vocal delivery of front-man Andy Myers the aggression that lies within the album is clearly highlighted. Harsh guitar tones take clear influence from American punk outfits such as Green Day, whilst in the chorus influence of a harsher Oi! Sound creep through.
Following track, ‘No Money, No Peace’ takes a differing approach and takes more of a hardcore fueled sound. It establishes the albums widespread anti-war anti-government stance, with this being a remaining theme for the remainder of the album.
Tracks, ‘How Much Will We Let It Affect Us’ and ‘World Within A World’ highlight a more melodic side to the group. The Americana influences are at their strongest here and truly shine through. The jockeying for dominance between guitar and bass within the tracks allows for them to maintain an aggression which is still as evident as ever. Specifically, within, ‘Worlds Within A World’ the chorus creates a sing-along atmosphere that boosts the melodic heights of the track.
‘Slow Shadow’ highlights a softer, slower side to the band. Think along the lines of Salvation by Rancid. This track again pushes the genre of the album within both its Football Chant-esque chorus and guitar work that is more akin to stereotypical ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
‘The Process’ and ‘No Barriers, No Protection’ return the album to its hardcore punk tones, with the former leading in with ominous drumbeats, creating a primal and animalistic tone that is only emphasised by the explosion of distorted guitars. The set political manifesto of the album is clearest here.
The album serves up a complete change of pace with acoustic number, ‘For Barbara Dane’. The blues and country tones that dominate the track are in stark contrast to the hardcore and melodic punk the album serves up previously. Despite the softer sound, the track never loses its aggression and intet, remaining laser focused throughout its durration.
Closing out the album is short and fiery, ‘The American Empire’. The splicing in of real news coverage serves to make their intent undeniably overt. It proves to be a an aggressive, frustration laden and fitting climax to the record.
‘Ask The Questions’ ironically leaves very little to be questioned. It serves a hard and fast political message in an aggressive and engaging manner. Calling to task many of the issues with society, it blends genre and wraps melody to fit message in a clear and effective way.