Damon Johnson / Get Ready for the ultimate party soundtrack
16 February 2021
Damon Johnson’s CV looks like a who’s who of the rock world, having had hugely successful stints with Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy and the Black Star Riders but has also written with Sammy Hagar, Stevie Nicks, Skid Row, Ted Nugent, Santana and Queensryche amongst many others. He has been no slouch with his solo career either and this, his sixth in a decade, shows exactly why he has been in such demand over the years.
Damon Johnson and the Get Ready – Battle Lessons (Double Dragon Records)
Release Date: 19 February 2021
Words: Paul Monkhouse
‘Battle Lessons’ is packed to the rafters with the sort of propulsive Hard Rock that made you fall in love with the music from the start, mixing classic elements into a glorious whole that is bound to grab even the most casual listener and turn them into a rabid fanatic. The key here is the superb songwriting, the album full of great material that feels good as well as sounds great and it all kicks off with the title track.
‘Battle Hymns’ is a high octane coming together of Thin Lizzy and Van Halen, the class of one and the reckless energy of the other, somehow mixed together with a little something special added. Heavy, melodic and with few interesting touches that light up the senses, it is a classic opener and things nicely shift into the gloriously spiky ‘Can’t Clap Any Louder’, punky New Wave with balls.
From the cinematic ‘Let The Healing Begin’, the Bluesy, brash, sleazy and wild ‘Talk Yourself Into Anything’ to the sugar rush of ‘Lightning Bolt (Everything Will Be Alright)’, there is plenty to enjoy here as Johnson and rhythm section Jarred Pope and Robbie Harrington kick up a storm.
It is not all full-on, heads down stuff though, as ballad ‘Love Is All You Left Behind’ shows the more tender side of the trio, it is stripped-down sound and nature stirring the soul.
The album highlight though comes in the form of ‘Shadow Country’, a big, brave, Southern tinged Rocker that somehow mixes classic grooves of titans Deep Purple with the rough house firepower of The Stooges and yet tips a hat to Skynyrd at their heaviest.
In ‘Battle Lessons’ Johnson has managed to take elements of all your favourite bands from your record collection and distill them into an album that could be your ultimate party soundtrack.
Killer songs, great performances and a whole lot of fun, what is not to love?