Supporting a strong work ethic which has seen the components of debut album ‘Nights Come Alive’ assembled in a time that the Guinness Book of Records should consider for an award, given that the band known as Damokles have only been in each other’s pockets since late 2019. Such an incredible feat once you consider all the restrictions a pandemic has wrought upon this world, and associated problems this has created for many. It’s no wonder that once ‘Nights Come Alive’ gets underway, it immediately gives the impression of a band having strained at the leash for too long, given the wave of emotions that pour out and with only the ventilation holes of its ten-track playlist offering an outlet to do so. No matter, as the short, sharp bursts of post-punk, mixed with indie-rock and emotional 90s post-hardcore provide ample coverage to what lies at the heart of this Oslo-based five piece, which may not always be easily decipherable, but makes it even more fascinating and worthy of repeat visits. Cryptic tales abound therefore, but there are signs pointing to feelings associated with alienation, boredom, and despair. For those in recent memory, debut single ‘Closing Time’ was an angular blow to the ribs and one powered by 80s grunge merchants The Afghan Whigs to those in positions of power and tempted by corruption. Further similarities arrive with even more recent, ‘Bodies Get Bored’, and again the dishevelled overcoat of The Afghan Whigs proving a source, in addition to mining energy from At The Drive-In, with lyrics purporting to similar concerns of dishonesty and its repeated cycles as indicated by its impressive words, “The parasite is as good as its host, The fruit is ripe, Let’s dictate its cost”. Music for the current times without doubt, and with lyricist Gøran Karlsvik possessing an uncanny habit of “right place, right time” mentality when it comes to his creativity and the rest of his projects. With Damokles providing the outlet on this occasion, there appears to be something of the “personal” amidst the growth of ‘Miniature Gardens’, which is also the band’s most marketable commodity given its accessibility via its alternative-rock leanings. ‘Breathtaker’ offers another side to the Damokles’ sound with its considered approach, before collapsing under a familiar weight of post-punk noise. It is from these shoots of creative differences which helps spawn the gothic, theatrical moments of the album’s title track, to quite different yet remaining an irritable ball of noise that is the excellent ‘Ms. Misanthropy’. Damokles has clearly enough ideas in their tank to maintain their current level of output, but one that has by no means reached anywhere near its zenith. Amen to that because album #2 is already in production, suggesting Damokles is already straining at the leash once more. Turbulent times it most certainly is, but with Damokles providing the soundtrack there is much that will resonate here and comfort to be found in this terrific debut.