Damned Pilots – Overgalaxy

When you see a band consisting of Italian Turbonegro lookalikes, with a somewhat post-apocalyptic style complementing the pseudo-Village People look, one single question comes to mind: how the hell will this sound? Punk or thrash are of course the most obvious theories. Like so many of history’s finest theories (such as humoralism, which I think we should give another go), they are both quickly disproved. We turn on Damned Pilots’ Overgalaxy, and as the brief, flight themed intro ends, we are treated to a massive, blues infused doom-grunge combo. Rasping rock’n roll vocals sometimes sings, sometimes half screams over dirtily distorted guitars, slow or slowish heavy percussion and some well hidden but amazing bass work.

The style and mood is often comparable to Black Sabbath’s Dehumanizer, in particular the slower parts of “Message from Earth”. Sound wise it’s grungier – a slightly fuzzier version of Guns’N Roses semi-forgotten come back album Chinese Democracy. The genre bending extends somewhat further, though, as some songs stick out from the general mold. Much like on older hard rock albums, there are also two ballads (“Just Another Day” and “People Don’t Die”), which are both pretty effective. There’s a summer feeling in there somewhere, and we’re not necessarily talking a summer in Seattle.

There are still more little innovations hidden among the tracks. “Gorguss” utilizes some death metallic, screaming grunts together with cleaner vocals, the latter once again calling Dehumanizer to mind. “Hell is Cold” brings the tempo up a notch, and here there is a heavy taste of Turbonegro, musically this time. It’s catchy as hell, and has been picked to be the first single for the album. The most extreme stylistic deviation must be the closing track “MOS”. It functions as an outro, and consists of guitar based drone/ambient of a rather relaxing sort. If you’d do a workout to the album, which might be a good idea if you’re into workouts, this would be the perfect cool down track for lying down and relaxing.

Once again, we must concede that Southern Europe knows how to rock. Damned Pilots may be somewhat derivative in some ways, especially as far as image goes, but the music is really pretty original. And a nice rock’n roll listen, that works its magic even when you’re fairly sober.

The album is available as download from the band’s Bandcamp page, and physically from Amazon.

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