• Bryon Harris

Book of Shame - Damned

Pete Boyd Maclean and Gary Bridgewood are the dynamic duo behind the alternative rock group Book of Shame. They are truly a rare combination of talents. Pete is a renowned video director. He is also the group's lead singer. Peter is known as a pioneer of the 80’s scratch vdeo movement. He was one of the co-creators behind the groundbreaking scratch videos for New Order’s Blue Monday and MAARS Pump up the Volume. Gary is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, bass, keyboard, mandolin, violin, cello, and back-up vocals. Previously, Gary played with The Real Tuesday Weld, Michelle Stodart (Magic Numbers) and Paul Weller. You may be wondering how this collaboration began? As the story goes, Peter took an old violin into a music repair studio and the restorer was none other than Gary. The two, a video artist and a multi-instrumentalist, formed a collaboration incorporating their individual interests in rock, punk, pop and indie for a sound that is uniquely their own.

Their latest single titled “Damned” is about perseverance. “The struggles seem endless, the mountain too high. Just keep on running and soon you will fly.” Book of Shame is not a group who holds back – musically or lyrically. The lyrics possess a refreshing directness that stems from their punk roots. “Chance is a lover who spat in your face." "Damned" has very catchy melodic content that sticks with you.

From the start a nice rock groove is established. There is a certain nod to sixties rock music which is heard throughout, but listeners will be hard-pressed to put this song into just one category. Distorted lead guitar wails. Pete's vocals are inviting - at times subtle and restrained and other times forward and gritty. Check out the ultra hip lens work on the video. It's an eye-catching trip to watch that perfectly captures the songs vibe.

About 3/4 of the way through the song, the music takes a sharp turn and the sound of a soul in turmoil is depicted with distorted guitar riffs that lets lose then returns to a calm center. Several sections have harmonies that sound like a full choir, bringing home the song's true message - hope lives inside, even in the toughest times.

From times of hardship and despair to flying above it all, "Damned" is like taking a ride through the dark and the light; the vibe is one of freedom even though sometimes life can make you feel "damned." "Damned" has great lyrics, a strong hook, soulful vocals and a lot of nuance and expression making this song an exciting listen.

For more information on Book of Shame, please visit their website.

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