Double Dragon Records
Release Date: March 21, 2016
When you play with Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders, I would imagine that it gets complicated trying to find the time to record, promote, and support music under your own name. On the other hand, when your history also includes playing with Alice Cooper, Slave to the System, and being a founding member of the criminally underrated Brother Cane, how could you not release your own material?! Thankfully, Damon Johnson has thrown us a bone with Echo, the first release under his own name since 2010.
To be honest, Echo is well worth the wait. Well, worth it. Johnson showcases his chops on only five songs here but their varied styles (all of which are anchored by the bluesy Rock and Roll he is best known for) prove that he is one of the most versatile players out there today.
The album kicks off with “Dead” which has a heavier feel to it than the other tracks. It’s heavy verses and jangly chorus remind me of the best side of the late eighties/early nineties Hard Rock scene that never got much of the attention. “Nobody Usin’” brightens up the mood a bit with a big ol’, riff rockin’ tune that features a big, melodic chorus and some bluesy underpinnings. If you had any question at all why he ended up in Thin Lizzy, this one should answer your inquiry.
Meanwhile, “The Waiting Kills Me” is a big ballad with a heavy rhythm section driving the guitars. The acoustic guitar rhythm work perfectly offsets the big electric leads. “Just Move On” is an Americana rocker that reminds me a lot of John Mellencamp’s best work. It’s got that Midwest workin’ man feel to it.
While I love every single song here, it’s “Scars” that really floors me. It’s got a broodier feel to it musically (despite the fact that it’s got a really positive vibe) that makes it stand out. The chorus just explodes and Johnson makes you feel it man. While it doesn’t necessarily sound like them, it makes me hope for another Brother Cane record someday.
This is just an excellent EP from start to finish. If you enjoy any kind of Rock and Roll then you should own this. It’s a perfect companion for summer days!
Reviewed by mark1340