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Roll the Dice

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Customer Reviews

Long awaited by return!

Don't pay attention to the review here, it is from their debut. Noelle is not 16. This is the third album released end of last year, not in 03. I fell in love with them from their last album Out Here All Night, and have been checking in often to see if they had anything new. I grew up with 80's metal and instantly loved their modern take on that kind of music, you can check the inspiration on their covers of Maiden, GNR - You Could Be Mine on this album and the single of Everybody Wants You. This album, Mike the guitarist sings a few tracks on, I am surprised even on the lead single Talk of the Town. It's fashionable to have a female lead ie Paramore, but I also love these guys/and gal are as good as them and even more for those wanting to rock out! Better than You Let On, is great - check that out. I highly recommend them, just got the album myself. Check out Out Her All Night if you haven't heard it!

A surprising album that shows significant musical growth

Damone has been one of my favorite modern rock bands since a friend introduced me to them a few years ago. Their previous album "Out Here All Night" has been in my rotation since its release. As a guitarist/songwriter I appreciate their approach to melodic rock music, and I have studied some of their songs as inspiration for my own creations. "Roll The Dice" (RTD) will likely be surprising to some of you, as it was for me. Their songwriting has grown tremendously, exhibits a textured and well-composed set of songs, and the entire album has a flow that fans of hard AOR-friendly rock will appreciate. The first half of RTD gives us the high-energy, formulaic radio-friendly songs that we'd expect from Damone. As soon as you press "play" on that first track, you're treated with about 45 seconds of an amazing 80s stylized guitar intro (complete with a well-placed guitar whammy dive bomb,) and the song blooms into the traditional melodic Damone rocker. The next few tracks are relentless. "Serial Killer" gives the listener some breathing room before "Bored to Death", which opens with a spacious, chaotic Guns-n-Roses like intro before launching into a Skid Row styled heavy guitar riff that leads into the verses that are backed with synths and clean chorused guitar chords. The soft, clean pre-chorus brings listener down ("When emptiness is nothing new...") before we're hammered with a brutal, short, and melodic chorus. "Dressed Up Like a Millionaire" and "Obvious Things" are some of Damone's all-time best traditional rockers. These songs are ready to go for radio/video. "Dressed Up..." opens with a brutal palm-muted guitar riff, and it's probably the heaviest song on the album. Once again, to me it conjures Slave to Grind era Skid Row ballsiness. These two songs give us a departure from the traditional Damone formula. The next track is an acoustic-heavy ballad "The Most Of It." This song is the first obvious application of a piano during the verses, and we're treated with a slow and soaring melodic chorus. I'm personally not such a big fan of ballads, but every rock album needs one, and this one is well done. After "The Most Of It," we're given two tracks that are sung by two male members of the band. The first thing that came to my mind was the band "Fleetwood Mac," because the various band members shared vocal duties. "Talk of the Town" is a very tongue-in-cheek tribute to David Lee Roth, and is clearly influenced by DLR's "A Lil' Ain't Enough" song (I wonder if Jason Becker will hear it? I'm sure he'd love it!) "Don't Miss It" is a fun, modern sounding, up-tempo rocker that is far more direct and 'raw' than the other tracks. "Better Than You Let On" is stylistically similar to "Obvious Things." Starts with a atmospheric/synthy intro, traditional verse/chorus/bridge structure. Another radio-friendly strong song with a modern, heavy-hitting CKY-sounding drum pattern during the chorus and playful, tasty short bursts of synths leading back into the verses. "You Could Be Mine" is an AWESOME cover of GnR's classic. One of my complaints about Damone's "OHAN" album was an overly-cheesy composition of Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years," but their cover of "You Could Be Mine" simply rocks. They didn't try to add any color to the original; it's just a direct cover that is just very well executed. The last two songs on "Roll The Dice" give us something entirely new from Damone. They might also give us an idea of where the band is headed musically. "Conquer Me" is risky, but the band gives it to us at the close of an album that has nothing to prove. The song has a drum machine, and is backed with a complex jazzy backed harmony on piano. A compressed bass guitar is high in the mix. Distorted guitars don't come in until the closing choruses and bridge. It's soft and bittersweet that closes hard. "When It Ends" (an appropriate song title to close an album) is an Illusions-era G-n-R sounding piano backed ballad. What a great album, full of quality, artistic, and durable songs. Big kudos to Damone for pushing the boundaries. This album will provide value for me for many years.

What's with this review?

I don't know why or how the review of Roll the Dice could be the same as their first album. Heck, they even talk about Noelle being 16! What's up, iTunes? Is it because you don't care because they're indies now? Even the release date is wrong! (By the way, RTD is awesome!)


Formed: 2001 in Waltham, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Tagging themselves after a character from the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dave Pino (guitar/vocals), Noelle (vocals/guitar), Vazquez (bass), and Dustin Hengst (drums) comprise the punk-pop group Damone. Pino had been writing songs and making a musical name for himself in and around his native Boston during the late '90s, composing tracks about a girl who dumped him. Within a year or two, he, Hengst, and Vazquez were rocking out in each other's basements. One of their good friends had...
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