The God Damns formed out of a passion for the glory days of hard rock. In 2004, Waylan Nate Palan found himself on the road with his folk punk band The Kissers. The one thing that kept him sane while living in a van for two years was his collection rock music. On a whim, he called fellow rocker Kyle Motor to ask if he wanted to learn some obscure rock songs for fun. To Waylan's surprise, Kyle already knew most of his "obscure" requests, and a bond was immediately formed. After rounding out the rhythm section with local rockers Darwin Sampson and Chad Ovshak, The God Damns were born. Even though the God Damns have only played a handful of shows, (due to the dense schedules of each member,) they clearly have a unique and classic sound. If it weren't for the 15 other bands the collective members of The God Damns play in, you just might have heard a little more about them. What they bring to the table is nothing short of powerful. With Waylan relocating to Brooklyn, The God Damns decided to put their original efforts onto 2-inch reel to reel tape as a record of their passion for 70's style power pop. The result is this record, "Thriller." "Thriller" may just end up being the best rock record released this year. The day the first person said, "They don't make 'em like they used to," never could have imagined the effects of "Thriller." This action packed set of jams suggest what The Sonics would sound like if they recorded today, or if the New York Dolls knew how to play their instruments. The sound is equal parts trashy, poppy, energetic and raw. Eight original and two obscure covers make up the tracks on this new CD. REVIEWS- Madison band The God Damns mines a period of rock that welcomed punk crudeness alongside wankin\' guitar runs and subjected power-pop sweetness to raw R&B libidos. The band\'s new 10-song album, Thriller, is a blatant throwback, but it takes a lot of pride and love to pull that off. In the spirit of things, singer and main songwriter Waylan Nate Palan bellows through a lot of lyrics about chicks. The music itself is a lot broader, from the piano-tickled boogie of \'Another Saturday Night\' to the roughed-up soul of \'Juliette\', featuring a roaring lead vocal from guitarist Kyle Motor. -Scott Gordon -The Onion Classic rock-styled bands playing original material that are content to rock without treating the form in ironic, pretentious or post-whatever ways have been in short supply since punk rock -- aided by the bloat of prog rock -- consigned them to the parade of passe. However, Madison\'s had some excellent, direct rock bands in recent years, many of which unfortunately have been met with disinterest by a public seemingly hungering for anything other than loud guitars and real drums. There are exceptions that have captured a wider audience, though. Given a longer period of time together and without the barrier of it's members\' involvement in umpteen other projects precluding them from playing many shows, The God Damns likely would have built a devoted following along the lines of past local standard-bearers such as Shot Down. Those lucky enough to have witnessed these damned during the past couple years will be left with the memory of manic live performances, and probably a little bit of hearing loss. Thankfully, the group found time recently to record an album at guitarist Kyle Urban\'s just-opened Motorco Studios, leaving behind a final love letter to high energy rockin\'. This new release careens through eight originals (seven by Waylan Nate Palan, one by producer/engineer Urban) and two covers (of Chocolate Watchband and Paul Collins) in about a half-hour. Much of the disc sounds like a combination of the speed of The Damned\'s first album, the grit of The Sonics, and the grease of the New York Dolls, but the track \'Call the Doctor\' heads straight for AC/DC territory. The dual guitar attack of Palan (left channel) and Urban (right channel) is aided & abetted by the locked-in rhythm section of bassist Darwin Sampson and drummer Chad Ovshak (who are currently also members of Helliphant). These guys may wear their influences on their sleeves, but they pull it off without sounding derivative.- Bob Koch -The Isthmus.
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