The Damned have released a new song called “Manipulator” in advance of an EP called The Rockfield Files. The four song EP will come out on October 16 via Search and Destroy/Spinefarm Records. It will be available digitally and as a brown & purple colored vinyl limited to 500 copies in the US.
As typical for the punk rock legends lately, it’s a catchy tune. Backing vocal “woah’s” introduce the hook melody as guitars and drums fly in, and the track keeps up the high energy until the psychedelic keys outro. The lyrics are angry, and unforgiving with the chorus’ anthemic declaration “Manipulator/You little faker/Now I’m gone/I’m moving on.” The verses are catchy too, with easy rhymes like “I’m working hard/I’m working for my pay/You talk the talk/And delegate away.”
The Rockfield Files will include their previous single “Keep ‘em Alive” and an extended version of “Black Is The Night,” their single from 2019. Each of the singles has been a little different from the other two. “Black Is The Night” is reasonably darker in tone with a rumbling bass line. “Keep ‘em Alive” is slower with hard rock style guitar and organ soloing. Their last release before “Black Is The Night” was a full-length album called Evil Spirits, which was their first studio album in ten years.
The Damned have been around since 1976. They’re best known for their early punk rock albums Damned Damned Damned (1977) and Machine Gun Etiquette (1979), especially their singles, “Neat Neat Neat,” “New Rose” and “Smash It Up.” Their sound evolved to new wave and gothic rock territory over the course of their career, but since the 2000’s, has moved back to punk rock. They’ve been occasionally releasing albums, in 2001, 2008 and 2018. This new EP will be their shortest gap between studio releases since 1986.
The Rockfield Files Track List:
- Keep ’em Alive
- The Spider & The Fly
- Black Is The Night (Extended)
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado