A hardcore band who sample 13th Floor Elevators, creating soundscapes which recall Loaded era Primal Scream, Dealing With Damage are redefining what you thought a hardcore band could sound like. Formed of members from hardcore, punk and indie bands Done Lying Down, Sink, K Line and Jerry Built, Dealing With Damage’s second album is packed full of tasty guitar riffs and gale force energy, plus they’ve managed to incorporate a huge dollop of psych rock into their tunes too. 

The entire album is dedicated to the memory of their friend and producer John Hannon who recorded most of the songs on here and sadly passed away in 2021. Themes of shared experiences, and life’s frustrations flow through the whole album, yet the album also manages to be a celebration of life, in all its complexities, rather than a raw open wound of melancholy. 

Framing the album are two acoustic tunes, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Sunset’ both unexpected, delicate gems and not what you’d expect to find opening and closing a hardcore punk album, but then Dealing With Damage are no ordinary hardcore punk band. ‘Walking Backwards Into The Future’ deals with the trials and triumphs of balancing being in a band in middle age with work and family life as vocalist and guitarist Ed Wenn sings “walking backwards into the future, this starts now, this starts here, better late than never, let’s do this together.”

‘Rinse Repeat Rinse’ has a rabble rousing chorus of “you don’t have to be a genius to understood how remembered moments heal us” and is the perfect marriage of Billy Bragg and Fugazi, whilst also musically conjuring up a parallel world to Frank Turner’s uplifting tunes too  ‘Keep Moving’ is a psychedelic punk rock cocktail of samples and beats, containing a re-working of the 13th Floor Elevators’ song ‘Postures (Leave Your Body Behind), with the drums played by John Sherry, the late father of Dealing With Damage’s drummer, James Sherry and drummer in 1960s band The Bunch. along with sampled vocal taken from John Cronin’s narration of kids story ‘Arlo Finch In The Lake Of The Moon’, and encourages us to “keep moving, keep climbing, leave your body behind”. It’s like Primal Scream era Loaded meets a punk rock bedtime story. Elsewhere, ‘Letter From Yootha’ is a ferocious hardcore blast recalling Minor Threat or Black Flag with a party of vocals from the brilliantly named collective Yootha Today, (a concept band if not a real entity yet) and is the only song I’ve ever heard which deals with the menopause. 

‘First They Ignore You’ is a tale of defiantly doing things your own way amidst uphill struggles, and whereas ‘John’s Gone’ is another fired up blast of punk rock energy, in celebration of the aforementioned John Hannon, who produced and recorded many of the songs on here but who sadly passed away suddenly 2021 as they recall “the time signature’s all over the shop, the joy of making music with whatever you got”. Any band inspired by 90’s rock bands Girls Against Boys and Circle Jerks are already imbued with the right ingredients in my books, and those influences ripple through ‘Seek Shelter’ and ‘Write It Down’ with the latter being a call to the creative side in all of us, a reminder to be open to inspiration wherever it may strike, “it’s always there so keep yourself open, pages, screens and sound vibrations” Wenn sings.

Dealing With Damage’s debut album was a gloriously feisty affair, in a more traditional hardcore style, yet for album number two, they’ve managed to meld together a tapestry of influences to create a psychedelic hardcore cocktail. An unusual but brilliantly inventive listen!

Dealing With Damage – Use The Daylight: Out 27th January 2023 (Little Rocket Records)


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.