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  • Bryon Harris

Book of Shame - 'Damned'

Book of Shame are Pete Boyd Maclean and Gary Bridgewood. Pete is an award-winning video director and is most known for his co-creator role in the critically acclaimed New Orders ‘Blue Monday’. Gary is a multi-instrumentalist. He plays guitar, bass, keyboard, mandolin, violin, cello and sings backing vocals. Gary has toured worldwide with acts like The Real Tuesday Weld, Michelle Stodart (Magic Numbers) and Paul Weller backed Troubadour Rose).

The Book of Shame’s sounds is an amalgamation of rock, blues, indie and punk. In 2019, Book of Shame released their self-titled debut album, recorded at the Gun Factor and produced by Rico Conning (The Lines, Wire Depeche Mode, William Orbit). Guests include Fergus Gerrand (Duran Duran, Sting, Katie Melua), Claire Nicholson (Kula Shaker, The Alabama 3), B J Cole (Brian Eno, KD Lang, Sting). Off their album the single “Damned” is sure to capture your attention on muliptle levels with great lyrics and music that rocks along with tengaging twists and turns.

The track commences with rhythmic guitar and tasteful riffs that weave in and out for a mysterious ambiance with room to build. A subdued, laid-back vocal commences the first verse. “The road that we travel as hard as it seems. Wandering ghosts in a graveyard of dreams. I just keep on moving through the wind and the pain. We'll come out laughing or deeply insane.” The vocals are very expressive and engaging. The lead singer applies just the right amount of edge; he knows when to dig in and when to hold back. Lead guitar solos are smooth and savory.

The chorus of "Damned" is very strong; the hook has a great, catchy melody. “You're damned if you didn't and damned if you do. No more crap gonna pack my sack and turn my back on you.” These lyrics are universally relatable - Who hasn't felt damned if you do or don't?" Book of Shame captures this turmoil in the artistic, pychedelic and vivid video below:

A highlight of the song is a break-out where one of the verses goes acapella and is sung to hand-clapping only. An inviting, blues-rock vibe is created in this section. Towards the end a swirling, distorted guitar solo lets loose painting a picture of what it feels like to be damned, but hope is not lost and ultimately this song is uplifitng. “ The journey seems endless the mountain too high Just keep on running and soon you will fly.” Here the background vocals pickup with a full chorus effect that is exhilarating and fills the room.

The best way to put it is that Book of Shame's "Damned" is just damned good. The well-realized song colors outside the lines with engaging material around every corner while maintaing a strong sense of meldoy, hook and style.

For more informaiton on Book of Shame, please visit their website.

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