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The Comedy of Errors

Live Music Review: Damn Craters Album Launch

19 July 19 words: Rob Johnson
photos: Benedict Cooper

Local doom quintet Damn Craters launched their album An Ocean of Satellites in seriously sweaty style down The Chameleon last week...

Photo Benedict Cooper

24 degrees outside. God knows what it is inside the top floor venue of The Chameleon but calling it sweaty is an understatement. It is not a room designed for high temperatures, especially when thronging with people, but it certainly adds to the murky atmosphere. High stacks of amps and speakers loom intimidatingly through the thick impenetrable air. Something nasty this way comes…

Dim Bulbs make for a surprisingly light opener, with their Wire meets grunge guitar sound and Britpop attitude and swagger. They grasp the interest of the growing crowd, snarling away with pounding bass and staccato guitars which brighten the gloomy room. They move on to a slower, heavier late-90s metal sound, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. In the faster moments they move back into the grungier sound, although most of the Damn Craters-hungry crowd are looking for something heavier.

The White Skill Death Snakes of Death turn up the dial of heaviness a notch with a rasping and at times exciting performance. They are punctuated with shot gun drums and driving bass, haunting roars and yelps of ‘he is prepared’, summoning a demonic energy. The room is now packed and even the walls are starting to sweat.

The distorted, disembodied voices creep out of the speakers announcing it is time for Damn Craters to take to the stage, and the tone changes drastically. This is who people are here to see, the local act launching their cosmic album An Ocean of Satellites high amongst the Nottingham skyline. The air gets even heavier and thicker as it saturates with sweat. The room suddenly feels smaller. This is going to get messy.

Damn Craters don’t mess about. As soon as vocalist Sy reaches the stage they tear into the set. I’d love to tell you more details and specifics about their performance, and fully intended to make plenty of notes. Alas, I was caught by the atmosphere of the first song and spent the rest of the night pitting and bouncing like an over-stimulated teenager.

But I do recall this: Damn Craters have one gear and it reads ‘f**king hard and f**king loud’. Real heavy rock and roll, doomy and sludgy whilst completely danceable. Head bobbing, bodies slamming; however you like to dance to heavier music, you can do it to Damn Craters.

This show clearly means a lot to them. They are impeccably tight, controlling the crowd with every crash and roar. They are here to set their stall out as one of the most exciting live bands in Nottingham. Caroline Cawley joins the band to add her vocal talents to the marauding noise as The Chameleon reaches unspeakable temperatures.

Dinosaurs Have Feathers takes the room to the ground with its slow, unrelenting bulldozer of Crowbar-esque doom and sludge. The steady crash of drums has The Chameleon crowd rocking back and forth, overwhelmed by the power in those basslines and riffs, which are maintained throughout the softer moments. The anticipation builds again, and that wall of noise slams back into your face like an onrushing bus.

When the band reach their faster, more frenetic moments the pit becomes a whirling dervish of limbs and bodies, obscenely sweaty and exhausted but refusing to surrender to the heat. It’s taken its toll however and when Damn Craters close the set to rapturous applause, there is much more water being consumed than beer. Which is a necessity. Did I mention it was hot?

Damn Craters launched their album at The Chameleon on Friday 12 July

Have a listen to the album here

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