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The Damn Truth – ‘Now or Nowhere Record Release Experiment’

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Review by Andy Houghton for MPM

Canadian rockers The Damn Truth released their third album, ‘Now or Nowhere’, to critical acclaim last month. To celebrate the launch they performed a livestream, entitled the ‘Now or Nowhere Record Release Experiment’ on 9th June.

The Damn Truth are Lee-La Baum (vocals, guitar, tambourine), Tom Shemer (guitars, keyboards, mandolin, tambourine, vocals), Py Letterlier (bass, tambourine, vocals) and Dave Traina (drums, vocals). The band released their debut album ‘Dear In The Headlights’ in 2012, and followed it up with ‘Devilish Folk’ in 2016.

The hour-and-a-half show, broadcast from Montreal, comprised a thrilling live performance intercut with short recorded segments, where the band discuss the songs and their music-making process. The event’s sixteen song setlist included ‘Now or Nowhere’ in its entirety, together with five tracks from ‘Devilish Folk’, and two from ‘Dear In The Headlights’.

It’s hard to imagine a better opener than the anthemic ‘This is Who We Are Now’, which combines soaring riffs with Lee-La’s stunning voice to deliver a song of empowerment and inspiration. The powerful riffs continue in ‘Tomorrow’, with its slow-burn guitar intro, and the track also delivers a pleasing guitar solo.

‘Only Love’ provides an early highlight, with its spine-tingling vocals underpinned by stellar work on guitar. Hearing the upbeat version here, it’s hard to believe that this started out as a melancholy song before it was refocused in the studio by legendary producer Bob Rock.

The country style of ‘Everything Fades’ demonstrates the band’s versatility, providing a more nuanced and subdued track for them to showcase their range, while the sheer dynamism of Look Innocent’ – including the extended mid-song spoken segment – makes this track the standout of the event.

It’s great to hear a handful of the band’s older tracks performed live too, including the stunning ‘Devilish Folk’ and the beautiful ‘Broken Blues’, and it serves as a reminder of how consistently good The Damn Truth have been over the past decade.

The band’s gig is undoubtedly one of the best and most slickly-produced livestreams I have seen during the last year, and left me longing for the return of full-blown gigs.

With a UK tour scheduled for February 2022, in which they will be supporting King King for many of the gigs, thankfully we shouldn’t have to wait too long before we can enjoy The Damn’s Truth’s music in person. I can hardly wait.

* Denotes songs from their new album “Now Or Nowhere” (2021) / /  ^Denotes songs from their 2016 sophomore album  “Devilish Folk”  //  $ Denotes songs from their 2012 debut album “Dear In The Headlights”

* This Is Who We Are Now
* Tomorrow
* Only Love
* Lonely
* Everything Fades
* The Fire
* Look Innocent
* Full on You
* Shot Em

^ Pirates and Politicians
^ Get With You
$ Too Late
^ Broken Blues
$ Kinda Awkward
^ Devilish Folk
^ Heart is Cold

Photography by Ralph Alphonso.

‘Now or Nowhere’ was released on 7th May, 2021.

Now or Nowhere’ was released on 7th May, 2021.

Website: https://www.thedamntruth.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedamntruth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedamntruth1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedamntruth/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC8hxDCUNRvNCUzo8QRHUKQ

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