Damon Johnson & The Get Ready
'Battle Lessons' is a stunning collection of nine original songs. From the insanely infectious melodies of album opener and first single 'Battle Lessons' to the groove riffing of 'Shadow Country'. From the driving chorus of 'Brace For Impact' to the beautiful acoustic 'Love Is All You Left Behind', this is an album infused with melody and emotion. Written and recorded throughout 2020, the album was produced and mixed by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Mastodon), a connection Damon made whilst working with Nick on Black Star Riders.
The album sees Johnson's return to his original hard rock sound, feeding that fire he first discovered as a teenager playing Van Halen and AC/DC covers while in garage bands. "These are as good of songs as I’ve been a part of creating, ever in my whole career." Johnson says.
Damon Johnson & The Get Ready lineup is completed by drummer Jarred Pope (Tom Keifer) and bassist Robbie Harrington (Steve Vai).
We start this latest album with the title track, 'Battle Lessons', which is an upbeat and lively introduction to this new release, lots of rises and falls keep you hooked.
Next up we have 'Can’t Clap Any Louder', which is a mid tempo number that takes time to build then erupts like a volcano in the chorus which then raises the pace again, before 'Talk Yourself Into Everything', which is just a badass track from start to finish. Musically great, vocally fabulous, both setting out this song perfectly for your listening pleasure.
'Shadow Country' is another with a slower start before the tempo rises and takes us on a cool rock n roll trip, followed by
'Let The Healing Begin', which is a guitar driven beast with a riff-tastic opening before a strong vocal performance marries it all beautifully to bring us this full on track.
'Brace For Impact' has a classic 80's vibe from start to finish, a mix of classic rock, Guns 'N' Roses, and Billy Idol all rolled into one with a touch of Bowie in the vocals.
'Lightning Bolt' is a full on attack on the senses from start to finish. A full throttled chorus will get you moving for sure, there will be no sitting down for this one.
We slow right down for 'Love Is All You Left Behind'. A ballad without doubt, with its acoustic and vocal opening setting a wonderful vibe and atmosphere, poignant and thoughtful right throughout, with an ever present orchestral undertone that comes to the fore every so often lending an even more beautiful touch.
'Casual Beast' has a funky bluesy start with a track that gathers momentum as we go along. A deliberate and controlled ending to this latest release from Damon Johnson & The Get Ready.
With such a wealth of musical experience between them, I would have been extremely surprised if they had not produced and released an excellent record, and we are not disappointed as this is an excellent release. Full of classic hooks and vibes all sewn together with Damon's fabulous vocals to create an album they can be very proud of, and is one that you to can be proud to own.
TFM gives 'Battle Lessons' a rockin' 8.5/10, a great collection of songs all masterfully performed for your listening pleasure.