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Children Of The Damp




Rock Music at Jerilees with Black Damp, Persona, and Dystalis (Tipp-C Magazine, 2005, Issue 8)

Jerilee’s Pub isn’t a bar that many Purdue students seem to be too familiar with, but it’s safe to say that Jerilee’s is no stranger to rock. They proved this May 28 starting at 9:30 p.m. to a crowd of around 50 people as Lafayette band Black Damp played with out-of-towners Persona and Dystalis both from Indianapolis. Being attached to Market Square Lanes in Lafayette isn’t what one would call a primetime location but Jerilee’s proved Friday night that location isn’t everything.

Both bands from Indianapolis played solid sets that showed off their experience. Persona, a four-piece band led by lead singer Barry McKinney, has been around since 2002 according to their website. The music is similar to the Stone Temple Pilots and is completed with McKinney’s voice, which sounds strikingly similar to that of Lenny Kravitz. Persona has great stage presence with each of the band members interacting on stage, whether it is leaning on each other while playing their instruments, or a comical impression of the late Cubs announcer Haray Carey between songs from bassist Joe Yount. Altogether, Persona is a solid band who is good at what they do, but leave much to desire by the end of their set. With a little more work on making the songs a little more diverse, I could see Persona going places.

Dystalis, a five-piece band from Indianapolis, has a sound similar to many nu-metal bands of today. The vocals of lead singer Sahar Montalvo are a mix between Disturbed singer David Draiman, and Chevelle’s Pete Loeffler, while the music sounds like something you’d expect from Sevendust. Combining all of these different bands into one creates a very ordinary sound, but at the same time, unique, if that makes any sense at all. Dystalis does it their own way, combining very intricate guitar riffs, with the hard hitting vocals of Montalvo to create an enjoyable sound in all aspects of the word.

Probably the most entertaining performance of the night came from the Lafayette band Black Damp. Black Damp is a three-piece band that blends punk, metal, and rock together to form a sound like no other. The band consists of Karl Vaughn singing and playing bass, Brian Boszor on the guitar and Ray Stinson on the drums. Vaughn adds his own style to many of the songs with a singing style similar to Primus frontman Les Claypool. After forming three years ago in 2002, the band has been working hard to develop a unique sound unlike any bands out there and they seem to have done a successful job. "Killing pop music, one fan at a time," is their signature, and they managed to do just that Friday night without any police reports being filed. The band has many influences but Vaughn says they mainly revolve around Black Sabbath and the Clash. Although these influences show in their songs, they are not a band that can be pinned down to sounding like one or the other. Black Damp have their own unique way of combining the two and running, forming an enjoyable sound that cannot be mimicked. It was obvious throughout the night that Black Damp was a crowd favorite as fans yelled out what songs they wanted to hear next. From start to finish Black Damp put on an entertaining show and even managed to have a good time themselves.

Band Websites:

Black Damp-



Posted on

Unregistered User
(6/26/05 10:37 pm)

Kevorkian's Machine/Black Damp @ Jerilee's 6/25
I hadn't seen Kevorkian's Machine in close to 3 years before this, I was surprised to hear they were still around as I've heard so little about them since. K.M. is pretty much a death/grind-metal band, by far heavier than any other act I've ever seen at Jerilee's (or most of Lafayette since Tazzma's closed a couple years back) so I was interested in how the crowd would respond. They took the stage sometime around 9:45-10(?) (I was drinking, exact details are for journalists) and played a solid, crushing hour's worth of metal. Their lead singer used more of a sub-octave approach (think Cannibal Corpse, Nile, etc) which the bass player backed up with higher pitched Zao style shrieks. It fit the band's playing, which largely consisted of speed picking guitar riffs & plenty of double-bass infested drumming (which was heller impressive considering it was provided by a man with "a broken toe"). The bassist did a great job of bouncing between playing along with the guitars & mixing in plenty of his own riffs without missing a beat, an underappreciated talent for this style (& speed) of music. The overall mix was topped off by a keyboardist, (an addition to the band since I last saw them) who contributed a good deal towards giving K.M. more of a signature sound. She provided much more agressive playing than I expected (the few times I see keys added in extremely heavy bands it's usually sustain, sustain, sustain), doubling technically skilled guitar runs and providing her own solo sections & intros. K.M.'s songs were well written and apparently well rehearsed. Given the skill of the entire band (the singer also proving to be an above average guitarist when joining in for a 3 guitar attack) I'd be interested to see them jump more into the "semi-prog" sections of their material and watch the results. The crowd (around 35 people?) seemed to appreciate them, which is good to see in venus that far outside of campus.

INTERMISSION: Shortly after Kevorkian's Machine's set ended I witnessed the first bar fight I've seen in a couple years. All in all it was kind funny, human bodies can really fly when someone else wants them to.

After hearing some impressive mp3s from them MONTHS ago I was stoked to finally have a night off from work/gigs in order to catch a set. Based on the mp3s I was expecting more of an experimental style hard/alt rock sound, as it turns out they leaned a little closer to a more classic rock/metal act. Maybe a bit of the stoner rock vibe mixed in. The guitarist had a good mixture of Sabbath style riffs mixed with some impressive lead work (Must add the guy had some good tone going on, SG's and Mesa's should be played together more often). The band as a whole had plenty of decent grooves/hooks going on, very easy to sit back & zone to. Vocals were strong, again seemed classic rock influenced. My only disapointment was not being able to hear the drums a bit more clearly as the guitar & bass seemed a little heavy in the mix. Still a fun set, Black Damp seem's to have a sound going that would be a good mix with a wide variety of bands in the area. Hopefully I'll get to see/play a show with them sometime in the near future.

That's all I got, just trying to contribute something to this part of the site. Due to beer intake and wanting to make it home alive I had to leave after Black Damp's first hour long set and apologize for not being able to contribute more on their performance. I'm also too ghetto for a digital camera.

Black Damp


Jerilee’s Pub

by Noah Mueller

(Tipp-C Magazine, 2005, Issue 14)

I doubt most people think a talented rock

musician can play an acoustic set that sounds

like it belongs in a Seattle coffee house. But

it has been done. Karl Vaughn of Black

Damp opened at Jerilee’s Pub playing clean,

bluesy rock. Performing some covers and a

variety of originals Karl relaxed the audience

quite well. Somewhere between trashy

rock and roll, head banging metal, and old

school punk rock exists this exquisite band.

“I don’t consider us a metal band because

some of our stuff is so melodic.” Brian, the

lead guitar player said sporting a Johnny

Cash t-shirt. Black Damp doesn’t directly

involve audience participation, but they

don’t need to; the music has enough energy

to rock any crowd. Unfortunately for the

show, there was no crowd tonight. At times

there was feedback, but it magically added

to the music. Hands down this band needs

monitors. Brian totally agreed by saying, “Its

hard hearing what the hell we’re doing.” The

night ended with covers ranging from Soft

Cell’s “Tainted Love” to a Violent Femmes

cover. Black Damp makes music what it

should be; an art.

Brian Boszor (photo by Noah Mueller)

Karl Vaughn (photo by Noah Mueller)