PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

Damone: From the Attic

Kristina Francisco

Damone

From the Attic

Label: RCA
US Release Date: 2003-04-01
UK Release Date: 2003-04-07
Amazon
iTunes

Getting dumped sucks, but according to Dave Pino, guitarist and songwriter for pop-rock outfit Damone, getting dumped by someone who's hot sucks even more. When Pino's "really friggin' hot girlfriend" (his words) dumped his ass in 1996, the aspiring musician was working at a carwash and was, needless-to-say, depressed. So what did the then-18-year-old do? He sat in his basement and wrote a couple of songs (about 80 of them actually), all odes to his former flame to try to win her back. Sadly, the "friggin' hot girlfriend" didn't like the ditties, so Pino had to come up with another game plan. In 2001, he decided to start a band because, as we all know, girls go wild for rock stars. And that, my friends, is how Damone was born.

In a little town called Waltham just outside of the metro-Boston area, Pino hooked up with pal Vazquez (yup, just Vazquez, that's all the bassist goes by) and looked to rock out in their sleepy working class suburb. They quickly picked up drummer Dustin Hengst and found singer Noelle (yup, just Noelle, that's all the singer goes by) at a Waltham teen hangout. Named after a character from '80s cult classic Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Damone is the kind of band whose music reminds you of the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.

The 11 songs off From The Attic, Damone's major label debut off RCA, were culled from Pino's heartache over said "friggin' hot girlfriend", and details his loneliness and token teen angst from the time. The result is a record that ultimately makes you wish you were a teenager again, laying in your room, listening to albums and pining over some crush you thought was your world.

Dave was basically a 16-year-old girl when he was 18," says Noelle, who has yet to graduate from high school. (When the frontgirl took to the mic, all she needed to do to Pino's songs was flip the gender pronouns to suit her.) With lyrics like "The phone can ring but I don't care / 'Cause you're mine / The world can end and that's okay / 'Cause you're mine / Inside I only care about the one I love / And you are number one to me / The one I love" off "On My Mind", From The Attic features the best teen emotions that could have soundtracked any John Hughes flick.

Most songs have Noelle singing like a better, hipper Avril Lavigne, and on some, she could be classified as a younger, punker Liz Phair with an emo band backing her. (This is apparent on songs like "Up to You".) "Overchay with Me", which could easily be something off an early Weezer album, has Noelle lamenting, "I sit around to read your note / I read it over and over / I think about you and fall asleep / And dream." Oh the aches of teenage heartbreak!

"Leave Me Alone" closes From The Attic with an older, slower vibe, departing from the skater-emo feel Damone holds on the other tracks. In the album-closer, Noelle whispers, "I thought I made it clear / I don't want you here / I thought that you'd be friggin' bored by now / And all the words you know / Is I want you to go", once again revealing the frustration of Pino's breakup. Other standout tracks are "Frustrated Unnoticed", "You and I", "On My Mind", and "At the Mall".

Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, From The Attic is a pretty good record from a suburban band that may soon end up joining the MTV2 rotation. Though Damone has adequately captured teen romance in 11 songs, could that ultimately lead to the band's downfall -- is this the only sound that Pino and friends create? Only time will tell, but the future seems bright for these kids who've already played the Vans Warped Tour and have toured with Andrew W.K., Mooney Suzuki, the Ataris and Further Seems Forever.

So whatever happened to Pino and the girl who once rejected him? Well in a strange turn of events, five years after Pino, now in his twenties, wrote those 80 or so songs, the "friggin' hot girlfriend" decided to give it another shot with the guy -- proving once again that girls do indeed go wild for rock stars.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Jefferson Starship Soar Again with 'Mother of the Sun'

Rock goddess Cathy Richardson speaks out about honoring the legacy of Paul Kantner, songwriting with Grace Slick for the Jefferson Starship's new album, and rocking the vote to dump Trump.

Books

Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll (excerpt)

Ikette Claudia Lennear, rumored to be the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar", often felt disconnect between her identity as an African American woman and her engagement with rock. Enjoy this excerpt of cultural anthropologist Maureen Mahon's Black Diamond Queens, courtesy of Duke University Press.

Maureen Mahon
Music

Ane Brun's 'After the Great Storm' Features Some of Her Best Songs

The irresolution and unease that pervade Ane Brun's After the Great Storm perfectly mirror the anxiety and social isolation that have engulfed this post-pandemic era.

Music

'Long Hot Summers' Is a Lavish, Long-Overdue Boxed Set from the Style Council

Paul Weller's misunderstood, underappreciated '80s soul-pop outfit the Style Council are the subject of a multi-disc collection that's perfect for the uninitiated and a great nostalgia trip for those who heard it all the first time.

Music

ABBA's 'Super Trouper' at 40

ABBA's winning – if slightly uneven – seventh album Super Trouper is reissued on 45rpm vinyl for its birthday.

Music

The Mountain Goats Find New Sonic Inspiration on 'Getting Into Knives'

John Darnielle explores new sounds on his 19th studio album as the Mountain Goats—and creates his best record in years with Getting Into Knives.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 60-41

PopMatters' coverage of the 2000s' best recordings continues with selections spanning Swedish progressive metal to minimalist electrosoul.

Books

Is Carl Neville's 'Eminent Domain' Worth the Effort?

In Carl Neville's latest novel, Eminent Domain, he creates complexities and then shatters them into tiny narrative bits arrayed along a non-linear timeline.

Film

Horrors in the Closet: Horrifying Heteronormative Scapegoating

The artificial connection between homosexuality and communism created the popular myth of evil and undetectable gay subversives living inside 1950s American society. Film both reflected and refracted the homophobia.

Music

Johnny Nash Refused to Remember His Place

Johnny Nash, part rock era crooner, part Motown, and part reggae, was too polite for the more militant wing of the Civil Rights movement, but he also suffered at the hands of a racist music industry that wouldn't market him as a Black heartthrob. Through it all he was himself, as he continuously refused to "remember his place".

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

The Return of the Rentals After Six Years Away

The Rentals release a space-themed album, Q36, with one absolute gem of a song.

Music

Matthew Murphy's Post-Wombats Project Sounds a Lot Like the Wombats (And It's a Good Thing)

While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 80-61

In this next segment of PopMatters' look back on the music of the 2000s, we examine works by British electronic pioneers, Americana legends, and Armenian metal provocateurs.

Music

In the Tempest's Eye: An Interview with Surfer Blood

Surfer Blood's 2010 debut put them on the map, but their critical sizzle soon faded. After a 2017 comeback of sorts, the group's new record finds them expanding their sonic by revisiting their hometown with a surprising degree of reverence.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.