"From the Attic" (RCA; 2003)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

Damone is not merely a band (yes, they are named after the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" character), but the story of a teenage love gone wrong. Their bio spins the yarn of guitarist/songwriter Dave Pino who founded what was to become Damone back in 2001 in Waltham, MA. After being dumped at age 18, he penned roughly 80 songs between 1996 and 1997, with the sole purpose of winning back his lost love, while slaving away at the Waltham Carwash.

His ex liked the songs but refused to rekindle the romance. Feeling they simply weren't good enough, he tossed them aside without batting an eye. Seems like a lot of work. I just played Air Supply and wrote songs about how evil women are! Once I got my head straight, it was back to Slayer, weed, Dungeons & Dragons and video games. 

Pino met bassist Vazquez during fourth grade when he brought an acoustic guitar to school and played "La Bamba" which brought a lot of attention from the girls. Who says groupies don't start at a young age! Next on board was drummer Dustin Hengst, who played in several bands with Pino before Damone. 

The missing piece of the puzzle was found in then 17 year-old Noelle, who was the younger sister of a good friend and not yet out of high school. Noelle was playing in basement hardcore bands with her brother and was the classic tomboyish little sister. After hearing all of Pino's songs, it was just a matter of gender flipping them. To quote Noelle: "I really relate to these songs a lot. It's about high school. They're really girlie songs."

So now I am left wondering what a CD like this is doing on a hard rock / heavy metal website like this. Here are my findings:

The first thing that comes to mind is Avril Lavigne. Noelle sounds a lot like the aforementioned skater chick backed up by much heavier band. The songs would fit nicely on one of those teen movie soundtracks. American Pie immediately comes to mind, not to mention a handful of others. I guess the biggest difference here is the band. I hear several styles from punk, to new wave to hard rock and even hints of metal. Hell, some of it reminds me of the Cars. 

The tunes are catchy and full of big hooks and sing along choruses. In other words: Sappy, poppy skater punk that's extremely radio friendly. "Up to You" has a decent guitar solo and "Driveway Blues" actually has some Zakk Wylde flair. "At the Mall" sports male lead vocals and Noelle sounding a little like Sheryl Crow. I'm surprised I haven't heard of them yet but foresee a big future. 

As far as "metal-ness" goes, they only score two chainsaws, but if I were to take a step back and look at their overall marketability and musical talent, this would easily get four chainsaws at any pop website, or should I say four cash cows? What the hell do they use at pop sites anyway? Stars? I guess I can compromise and give them two and a half chainsaws. After all, there is some good guitar work throughout. "From the Attic" may not be something Rough Edge readers would enjoy without an open mind and maybe some tequila but I imagine they will be well-embraced by today's youth. 

Damone: Dave Pino- guitarist/songwriter, Vazquez- bassist, Dustin Hengst- drummer, Noelle- vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.damone.net

"From the Attic" (RCA; 2003)

Reviewed by Snidermann

There is something inherently sexy about a female singing punk rock, as long as it is done well. Noelle LeBlanc certainly does and her unique vocals are a big part of what makes Damone stand above the others.

Damone is a type of light punk but not the type that all the Blink 182 Xeroxes out there are doing. Instead, Damone's music has an edge that rocks a little harder and that edge has put this CD on my current rotation list.

"From the Attic" is chock full of songs that are top notch and done with a shitload of heart and passion. This music is fresh yet familiar enough not to turn off listeners. Okay, sometimes the music moves too slow for me but overall, "From the Attic" is a very solid and I think this band has a bright future.

Damone: Noelle (vocals/guitar); Dave Pino (guitar/vocals); Vazquez (bass/vocals); Dustin Hengst (drums).

For more information, check out http://www.damone.net

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:28 -0400 .