A Poppy Rock Band Discovers Hints of Metal

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Damone draws on the lean, hook-driven efficiency of '80s British heavy metal.

Damone draws on the lean, hook-driven efficiency of '80s British heavy metal. hide caption

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Out Here All Night"
  • Artist: Damone
  • CD: Out Here All Night
  • Genre: Rock

In a more innocent time, Damone was known as Noelle, the name of its then-teenaged singer, even as the songs were written by Dave Pino, a twentysomething guitarist prone to declaring his habit of watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High once a day. Together, they united to conjure up a pre-Guns 'N Roses/post-Weezer brew that unironically portrayed teenage melodrama with whip-smart precision, set to a pop-metal soundtrack that recalled a time before Poison showed up to be rebelled against.

All of that disappears on "Out Here All Night": Pino is gone, Noelle's teen years are gone, and the band's baby fat is gone. The rock is more aggressive, the vocal less innocent, the lyrics darker. Over a relentless, mathematical riff, Noelle sings in a voice that's all the more effective for seeming devoid of emotion, while the rest of the band slashes away with a leanness that hews closely to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that greeted the dawn of the '80s. In a more innocent time, parents used to respond to music like this by heading into the arms of crackpot psychologists who claimed that their children were risking genuine harm by listening to it. But everybody grows up.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Out Here All Night

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