Hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll veteran Pete Berwick has come storming into 2023 with a real no-holds-barred, punch-in-the-gut record. Despite having no previous intentions to make a new album, Berwick reportedly followed up an opportunity he simple couldn’t refuse and stepped into the studio with Charlie Bonnet III (who also plays guitars here) to produce this unapologetic barnstormer and slam it right in our faces.

‘The Damage is Done’ treads quite a different road to its predecessor ‘Island’, released in 2019, and sees Berwick returning triumphantly to his harder side – and then some.

From the rip-roaring opener of ‘She Ain’t Got Me’, it’s quite clear where Berwick’s focus is in making this record – it’s a fast and fierce fuck you, and it’s glorious. The dogged songwriter retains his witticisms and endearing self-deprecation, but it’s all served here with a huge sneering slice of scorn. From the “maggots crawling on my coat” in ‘Finger Down My Throat’ to the gang vocals of ‘You’ll Get Used to It’ or the shotgun blast of title track ‘The Damage is Done’, the album is teeming with grit and determination.

There are two sides to Berwick’s music, and of course this album is not without it’s accomplished acoustic offerings in songs such as the beautifully nostalgic ‘Timeclock on the Wall’, or the sing-along of ‘Ghost Tears’, a song fit for a slow dance at any demented high-school disco. Yet it’s the snarl of offerings like ‘There You Go Again’ that give the album its identity.

A sweet version of Charlie Bonnet III’s ‘Haunted Heart’ is included before ‘Fool in Love’ plays out the record in magnificently fun fashion with a groove that will lead you right back to the beginning of the album to do it all again.

Author: Craggy Collyde

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