Misery can be inspirational. Poverty can breed meaningful art. Criminal Damage play top-tier existential street punk. Instead of working class bravado, questionable nationalism, and gang stompers, they create a bleak, high-contrast grey and black world. Call of Death is also an LP of disparity between its words and sounds. Textually, it’s Orwell future-present. Tough and godless. Cracked concrete, cracked teeth. Never-bright skies. Broken cities. Empty cupboards. Solitary drinking. Fucked fuckedness of which the bad fucking has no end. Lyrically, it’s in line with early ‘80s peace punk, thorned with spools of barbed wire cynicism, then wheat pasted over with the sticky hopelessness of modern existence. Musically, however, Criminal Damage burn brightly like a lighthouse, shining a path through ever-quickening darkness. Rough, melodic barking is buckled to knifey, slashing, guitar work. Snapping drums give this batch of songs a rigorous and crisp feeling. The enterprise is reminiscent of Blitz, Partisans, Templars, Cock Sparrer, and Hard Skin. Good company to have, in my book. Great record.
–todd (Feral Ward)