Dealing With Damage – Use The Daylight
Post-Punk HardCore rockers release Post-Pandemic album and dedicate to their fallen friend. Release date 27th January on Little Rocket Records.
Dealing With Damage have dedicated their new album to John Hannon. They have oceans of love for the memory of their dear friend. He was an inspirational musician, an innovative recording engineer, their favourite storyteller and someone whose perspective and humour they say they are poorer without. A lovely sentiment and a fitting tribute. In the last two years, we have seen many of our friends and family go through a great deal of trauma and to be able to produce something tangible has benefited not just the band, but those adventurous enough to seek out the latest offering.
Dealing With Damage are a post-punk band from London who have spent more of their collective lives than is advisable playing in bands like Sink, Done Lying Down, K-Line and Jerry Built to name a few. Since their formation in 2015, they have shared stages with the likes of Soulside, Moving Targets, Messthetics, Diaz Brothers, Danger!Man, Ruts DC amongst many others and released their debut album ‘Ask The Questions’ on Little Rocket Records in early 2020, just as the pandemic hit. Despite being robbed of the opportunity to play live, like most bands, they used the down time creatively and are now getting ready to release their second album ‘Use The Daylight’, written and recorded in the midst of the pandemic and subject to all of pitfalls and challenges that that entailed.
Recorded in various sessions between 2020 and late 2021 at No Recording Studios with John Hannon and then with Pat Collier at Perry Vale Studios, ‘Use The Daylight’ delivers a broader collection of sounds and styles than featured on their debut album as Dealing With Damage develop musically and lyrically; keen to push the boundaries whilst retaining as articles of faith, the punk rock energy and zero bullshit attitude of their previous releases.
The first single from the album is titled ‘John’s Gone’. It’s a tribute to DWD producer and friend John Hannon, who suddenly passed away in 2021, having already recorded 50% of the material on ‘Use The Daylight’. The members of Dealing With Damage had all worked with John many times over the years in various bands and had formed a close bond with him both musically and personally. His unexpected passing came as a huge shock and left a gaping hole. His sessions were always relaxed, creative and fun and he had a never-ending cache of wonderful stories. ‘John’s Gone’ is the band’s take on what made him unique and why they loved him so much. It’s one way that Dealing With Damage is able to say thank you to him for all the amazing times and pay tribute to a genuine creative force.
The bands first full length deserves a re-visit and if you’ve never come across the band, you’ll be taken back to an era when stripped back punk and hard-core were being played in every sweaty venue in Chicago, San Diego and predominantly Washington DC. The post hard-core scene was rife and Dealing With Damage would’ve ridden the wave for sure.
“Use The Daylight” opener is an odd choice. Rather than a crushing edgy track, they kick off with “Sunrise” an acoustic song with the enigmatic Carol Hodge on backing vocals. It’s how they close out as well with “Sunset”. For me, I could skip track one but it’s no slight on the band, my ear is not tuned for the softer side of soul-searching but they had a vision to do something outwit the DWD norm. The album is ignited by “Instrument”. “Walking Backwards into the Future” gets the party started but the third song has me reaching for repeat. What started off as a song musically inspired by The Cure‘s early guitar sound, ended up being something very different. Lyrically it was inspired about bringing up an autistic child and it will probably resonate with anyone who’s had similar experiences. Watching someone they care about interacting with the big, scary, wonderful world around them and simultaneously wanting to protect them and translate for them, but not get in the way of them finding their own path to follow. Somehow, that’s relatable back to the angst music brings and how it inspires all of us. The album is an eclectic mix but there’s are some real gems to be discovered. “We Make Bombs to Feel Safe” struck a nerve with me and although it is not an anti-war song, the sentiment hit home with me in the line “We tell lies to feel great” it is so perceptive as we do it without even knowing. Society awareness level is moved up a gear with “Letter From Yootha”. The inspiration of the hard-core styled song was derived from the early Beastie Boys sound but a collaboration with the all female band Yootha Today produced something far more visceral. The subject of the menopause was the last track finished on the album but provides a great opener for side 2 of the record (vinyl for anyone under 40). Dawn, Estelle and Clare provided a raft of lyrics and the band stripped them back to make them impact and cut through the hard hitting guitar.
There are some killer songs on the album and some awkward tracks that bring diversity to the overall offering and if you were to strip out the post-hardcore songs, you’d have a different outcome. “Firstly, They Ignore You” and the single “John’s Gone” are two tracks that best represent the band sonically and were borne out of the pandemic and lament the loss of their friend. “Seek Shelter” and “Write It Down” complete the album for me. Two songs that reflect what the band are all about, whether it’s to educate and inspire or just playing some mindless moshing music. Either way you’ll be rewarded.
After hearing the bands two albums in the comfort of my studio, I feel the need to hear them live to fully appreciate where the band are coming from. I recommend you do this at some point to. If you got this far, go the extra mile, it’ll be worth it!
Find Dealing With Damage online here: