By Martine Ehrenclou
Montreal rock band, The Damn Truth, release their third album, Now Or Nowhere on May 7 via Spectre Musique/Sony Music. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica, Motley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams) at Bryan Adams’ The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver except for three tracks due to Covid-19 restrictions, which were produced separately by Juno-Award winner Jean Massicotte, Grammy-winning engineers Vance Powell, Nick DiDia and Mike Plotnikoff. An A-list team collaboration.
The Damn Truth have toured Europe and the US extensively, opening tours for ZZ Top, the Sheepdogs, Styx, and Rival Sons.
With plenty of rock and roll swagger, The Damn Truth’s Now Or Nowhere navigates life, love and the challenges of the last year with the pandemic, with a powerhouse vocalist and downright killer band. They might be bohemian rock n’ roll hippies, but they sure can rock. And that’s with a strong dose of love and peace.
The 60’s ethos of self-sufficiency and self-reliance has paid off for this hard-working band who not only overcame the challenges of the pandemic restrictions and working with different producers, but have garnered 2 mill streams on Spotify, 60,000 followers on TikTock and over 2 million YouTube views. Then Bob Rock comes into the picture and offers the support and guidance this talented band deserves. Now Or Nowhere was born. And the band is reborn in some ways, in that they put a conscious effort into writing more positive, uplifting songs, focused on hope.
Bob Rock recorded the band live off the floor, in keeping with the bands 60s/70s rock roots. The Damn Truth is comprised of lead singer/guitarist Lee-la Baum, Tom Shemer (lead guitar/vocals) PY Letellier (bass/vocals) and Dave Traina (drums/vocals.)
Kicking off the album is “This Is Who We Are Now,” a fierce rock and roll anthem with rolling drums and sinewy guitar riffs and one of the best vocalists I’ve heard in a while, Lee-la Baum. A fiery track grounded in 60s/70s rock, it blasts off a mighty fine record with outstanding guitar, bass and drums. It seems to be a statement of purpose for the band about overcoming set-backs and committing to turning towards love and away from fear. A pertinent triumph for anyone in the music business during Covid-19, but it seems to be more than that for this band.
Lead guitarist Tom Shemer says, “There was a moment late at night, in the van, on the road somewhere on a Canadian highway, where we decided there is no more putting off love, no more putting off hope, no more putting off resilience and courage. We decided that it’s Now or Nowhere.”
With tremendous energy, “Tomorrow” barrels in with electric guitar and rocking drums and Lee-la heard in the background. With hints of Grace Slick, Lee-la and the band sing together on the chorus, a trademark for the group. Nailed-down harmonies abound on this song that focuses on love and lyrics like “We belong in each other’s arms tonight.” Big drums, ripping guitar and Lee-la harnessing this song like the total pro that she is.
Album standout, “Lonely” gets a bit more bluesy with Lee-la singing a capella over guitar. The drum thwacks as she alternates between a whisper and hum. Then the song transforms into a storm stomper of a blues/rock song that kicks a**. Lee-la sings with such power and guts, you’d be hard pressed to turn away from this killer track. A heavier song, the guitar is as edgy and downright outstanding as her vocal– the whole band is in top form. They sing together on the chorus and then pull back for Lee-la’s vocal wizardry with a range to die for.
Lightening things up a bit is “Everything Fades’ with acoustic guitar. This is the softer side of The Damn Truth and focuses on hope and dreams for the future. Together they sing, “We realize we got everything we need.” The harmonies are beautiful on top of beefy guitar and drums.
Rock fans won’t be disappointed as there is plenty of hard rock to be found on the album. Other standouts include “The Fire” with arena rock drums, and Lee-la pulling out the stops on her powerful, soulful vocals on a blues infused rocker with grit. Be sure to listen to rock n’ rollers “Full On You” and “Shot ‘Em” that closes the album with a hint of Led Zeppelin and psychedelia but with a female vocalist who’s not only versatile but the kind of vocalist who hits you where you bleed.
Now Or Nowhere by The Damn Truth is a full-on rock and roll triumph.
Watch “This Is Who We Are Now”
Pre-order link for Now Or Nowhere
The Damn Truth