The Dammitheads
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The Dammitheads

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" Editors Pick"

The Dammitheads are actually David Tomaloff. The album is top-heavy with lots of talent and great songs but you won’t find this sinking fast at all. It’s so refreshing to hear such imaginative music and even more amazing is that it’s the work of one individual. It’s indie rock alright but has a lot of what has rock bands huge rather than trying to appeal to a niche group. His vocals are retro-esque but his music is startling fresh and edgy with superb song craftsmanship.

- J-Sin

"South of Mainstream"

For a Wisconsin band with a name like THE DAMMITHEADS with an album called Freeze Motherstickers, which isn't really a band at all...but one guy, I'd say no one can blame me for a certain degree of low expectation upon receiving a copy of the new record. What I didn't know was a) this one guy, David Tomaloff, was probably the most gifted songwriter in all of Wisconsin, b) it doesn't sound like one guy at all, but a fully arranged band where every
instrument plays a key role in the construction of each song, and c) that this faux band puts 95 percent of "real" bands out there to shame because they have made an outstanding indie rock record.

Let's pretend THE DAMMITHEADS really are a band, or at least that Tomaloff has multi-personalities on the level of John Cusack in "Identity." David the
guitarist opens things up with a stereo attack of slightly overdriven Kinks-
type guitar riffs, followed closely by David the bassist, and David the
drummer, who might not be named David after all, and just might be the
assistant engineer on the record. Anyway, I was impressed by how "Alright" and the 10 tracks that follow adhere to a strict "no-overproduction" policy. The
music on this record is like a SPOON record. Every tone is perfectly clear and
crisp, the music sparsely, yet adequately arranged. I imagine the question
tossed around the recording studio was "Yeah, but does the song need it?" And when the answer to that question was "yes," good things happen. For example, when David plays harmonics on the guitar as if he were drumming out a beat on his knees on "Stop Engo," it works as a solid argument for minimalist production. Later, when listening back, I was high on daytime Sudafed and my heart palpitated right along with the odd drum loops and piano skip of "Taking the Long Way Home." These are just two moments in two songs, yet nearly every song on this record has a moment that hooks its little claws into me. I felt like THE DAMMITHEADS somehow capture the same assured swagger of THE TENESSEE THREE when they backed JOHNNY CASH at Folsum Prison.

Now, this ain't no Country and Western record. This is indie rock to the core,
but the good kind. NO art for art's sake hear. Tomaloff is too excited to
showcase David the Singer. HIs voice sounds like a mix of everything good
about early DAVID BOWIE and MICK JAGGER. Toss a little SPOON into the mix (that nice smoker's rasp) and you get a singer that demands respect. He sounds like the overconfident guy at the bar that I always would have liked to punch except for the fact that I was too busy thinking how damn cool he was.

Perhaps I have not done a good job. The point is this: Freeze Motherstickers
is an incredible record, full of exciting twists and turns and a singer I would
want to emulate if I was still fifteen. I honestly believe this record will
be picked up by an indie label or distribution company. Best of luck all you
Davids. You did damn fine work.
- Fin

"David Tomaloff's Damn Orchestra"

David Tomaloff's Damn Orchestra
Artist: The Dammitheads

"I've been in a bunch of bands," says David Tomaloff, "and when my last band fell apart, I took the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do-and it became me." So the multi-talented, multi-tasking Wisconsin musician formed his own outfit, not only on his own terms, but on his own talent as well, consisting of David Tomaloff-lead vocals, guitar, bass and keyboards.

The Dammitheads was born-the band and the "creative writing/recording vehicle and schizophrenic alter ego" of David Tomaloff. Originally performing under his name only, Tomaloff came up with the 'fake band' concept because he didn't want his audience to have pre-conceived notions of him onstage as a singer-songwiter who played feel-good guitar ballads. "I'm like the band I wish I had," he says, "I can be the bass player I like, you know?"

Recorded in his basement and mixed at Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco, The Dammitheads first album - Freeze Motherstickers - is a stripped-down and solid achievement of a talented musician - rocky, modern and clean sounding. Getting back to basics was a conscious choice for Tomaloff. "The record is not so much a wall of guitars as other stuff out there. I feel there's less music, more noise going on right now." Unforced and natural, Freeze Motherstickers may sound sparse at first, but a good listen reveals hidden textures and restrained, clear emotions.

Among his top five records of the moment, it is significant that Tomaloff includes The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. Clearly influenced by the album and the way it was recorded, David says it's,"the record that makes me want to record - there's not a lot of thought or pre-meditation behind it - they hung around, drank, recorded it in the basement, and they rocked."

With that sentiment in mind, in his own studio (in the basement, naturally), Tomaloff begins with a germ of an idea, his friend and drummer Steve Hawkins adds drums and a something evolves through a combination of experimentation and improvisation. Comparing the process to painting, Tomaloff says, "It's not already a song. I'll start with a guitar riff and Steve will drum, then we add things, erase things. We don't start with an absolute idea."

Live,Tomaloff plays with a band or with Hawkins, but The Dammitheads are clearly his sound. A daunting prospect? Tomaloff says it depends on which day you ask him. "Some days it's a very free, cool thing, some days I just think 'man, it would be a lot easier if I had a bunch of friends working on this thing with me too.' But every band I've ever been in gets somewhere to a certain point and then falls apart, because of politics or whatever,and all the hard work goes down the drain. Nobody else can screw this up for me."

Solo, Tomaloff must doing something right. The record isn't scheduled for release until mid-February, but it's already blipping on the radar. He's received glowing reviews for Freeze Motherstickers (it plays on his website,, attention from the press, and pre-orders for the album. It seems Tomaloff has made a record to be proud of - and all by his own damn self.

- SoulShine (Fiona McLean)

"January/February Spotlight- THREE GREAT BANDS"

The Dammitheads: As many of you longtime readers know, Fin doesn't give it out high star ratings too often. He bestowed a perfect 5 star rating on Freeze Motherstickers by the Dammitheads, though. We received a demo copy, but the official release was just last week, on the 13th of January. Though the name of the "band" would lead you to believe this is a group effort, it is largely a one man show, a brilliant one man show from the very talented David Tomaloff. The sound is pared down simplicity, letting Tomaloff's sincere and stunning capability and creativity shine through. Those who like to experience their favorite musical acts live, shouldn't despair, as The Dammitheads will play live, with various backing members assisting.

See what Fin had to say about this 2004 release by reading his review. Or take a detour to our Internet Radio broadcast, where we're happily sharing the sounds of the album by playing "Alright", "Stopengo" and "Taking the Long Way Home". And if you want to hear more of the album, you should definitely visit the band site at

- South of Mainstream

"Album Review in the Shepherd Expres"

If you envision a collaboration of four or five musicians on the Dammitheads' debut, you might be surprised to learn that this is the sole, identity-confused creation of one man, Racine's David Tomaloff. Live, the one-man-band forecasts varying formats, which may include full rock accompaniment, Tomaloff backed by drums or simply Tomaloff and his guitar. With the exception of drums and percussion by production aid Steve Hawkins, the album features a variety of instrumentation, including guitar, bass, Rhodes, Farfisa, sampling, percussion and vocals, all performed by Tomaloff. Freeze Motherstickers is not only an example of prolific musicianship, but is an impressive first try for a recording novice.

What is the Dammitheads' style? Most hazily, yet appropriately put, it sounds like everything else in rock 'n' roll history, but is unlike anything you've ever heard before. This is largely due to the broad spectrum of genres incorporated in the work, which unmistakably takes from listed influences of the Stones, Bowie, and the Clash, but this only covers punk and classic rock. Tomaloff's hiccupy vocals are a throwback to '80s Britpop, his riffs might take as much from '60s inspired power-pop as they do early '90s melodies. Overall his sound is rooted in the alternative and analog traits of the Strokes or most suitably Spoon, whose sounds are all over this album.
- Shepherd Express Metro - Graham Fons

"Album Review in Delusions of Adequacy"

The name of the band is cute, in a trying-hard-not-to-offend sort of way, and even the more sleezy approach of the album title (full title Freeze Motherstickers...this is a Fuck Up) is kind of clever. The cover art is cute too, so why wasn't I expecting The Dammitheads to play straightforward rock? Regardless, that's what you get: a little garage, a little barroom, a little 70s-inspired Rolling Stones-esque inspiration.

Thing is, The Dammitheads is basically David Tomaloff, who plays most of the instruments himself, with a little help on drums, and therefore the respectability level increases. Because, frankly, Tomaloff is damn talented, ripping off thick guitar riffs, rich bass, and his own unique vocals - bluesy and angsty, yet attitude-infused. So yes, Freeze Motherstickers is impressive for that, and there's some damn good rock songs here... Thing is, it's rock the way you might expect it to be, and Tomaloff doesn't do enough to make the songs his own - even if they're all his own

The opener, "Alright," kicks things off with a pretty straightforward rocking track, the hints of synths and light tambourine providing a nice flourish, but basically thick guitar and Tomaloff's unique vocals. Much better is the undeniably catchy "...When the Last Bring it Down." "Stock Answer" is definitely 70s garage-rock punk in approach, and even Tomaloff's vocals take that style, with his Jagger-esque "a-ri-iii-ight!"

Fortunately, despite sounding like a lot of other rock-n-roll, Tomaloff is talented enough to pull it off. On "Stop Engo," for example, Tomaloff does his best Boss impression, and yet some synths provide his own flourish. There's something more lo-fi to "Gimme Blood," from the synth flourishes to the more pristine guitars, which really makes this one of my favorite songs. As the album goes on, the songs get a bit more original, with the sort of vibrant rock of "A Way to Tune Out" and "Anerasia" uses some nice guitar effects to change up the rather straightforward guitar approach on the album.

Essentially, this review could be taken two ways. First, if you're a fan of guitar-driven, attitude-infused rock the way it's meant to be done, you will probably love The Dammitheads. But second, if you like your rock with more of a unique, quirky affair - a trademark of indie rock - you'd probably do better to pass on Freeze Motherstickers. Because Tomaloff doesn't try to hide the fact that this is a rock album, plain and simple, and if he wasn't so talented and the songs weren't so well recorded, this wouldn't be as good of a rock album as it is.

- Delusions of Adequacy - Jeff

"Album Review - Splendid"

When I first noticed the album title, Freeze Motherstickers..., something about it amused the hell out of me. Its asinine-yet-clever wordplay somehow works. I repeated the title to myself numerous times (and in several different inflections) over the coming days, and it never really got old. Then I actually read the inside cover and noticed that the title has an ending: "This is a fuck up." Suddenly the joke was no longer funny. Now it was just a simple juxtaposition of words, and the off-kilter humor that seemed to work so well was dispelled. It was a case of overexplaining the obvious. That, in a nutshell, explains the album itself: it's good -- even really good -- but it never achieves the transcendent joy to which it aspires.

The Dammitheads, aka David Tamaloff and friends, sneer and snark their way through eleven taut rockers, full of stripped-down hooks and raucous melodies that recall a garagey Blur. It's a simple album that works incredibly well as escapist rock, at least until Tamaloff disrupts the vibe with obligatory slowdowns and wink-wink crooning that might work better on a different album but seem like potholes here. I raced through the disc once, then repeated it, because it requires absolutely no effort to enjoy, but it never knocked me out. Maybe my expectations were a bit high. Maybe I should have expected something less from The Dammitheads, but they almost put one over the top here, and I'd love to hear what they come up with next. Until then, this isn't a bad entry point.
- - Justin Kownacki

"Album Review - Bettawreckonize"

Despite the clever name, my love of glossy, artsy cover art and inserts almost steered me away from giving this one a really good listen. But even my genius can falter sometimes. The Dammitheads aren’t even technically a band, it’s just one guy by the name of David Tomaloff – and the guy is damn brilliant. Between the wiry beats and his smoke’em up raspy voice, you can tell he’s not really trying to impress or appeal to anyone in particular, but he manages to do so quite well. The first track is a perfect pick for an opener, and it’s hard not to notice his channeling of The Cars – but the rest of Freeze makes it clear that he’s got his own specific way of doing things, and he’s not going to be another someone that sounds like an already accomplished songwriter. The album sways back and forth between knee-slapping pop (“Stock Answer”) and quieter, finger drumming beauties (“Taking the Long Way Home”). As in love as he seems with making his music, he’ll definitely be one to catch on tour (plus, I hear he’s been known to play live shows with a full on band, which would surely be something to see).
- Bettawreckonize - Brandy Voiles

"Wisconsin rockers set for Millennium"

Wisconsin rockers set for Millennium
Via Racine, Wis., The Dammitheads can’t wait for Harrisburg music conference

David Tomaloff had to forget about nervousness, crank up his confidence and banish from his head thoughts about hostile crowds and hecklers.
Two weeks ago, his band, The Dammitheads, rolled into Chicago from Racine, Wis. to play a showcase concert for the new Meca Music Conference.

For those who don’t know, the spotlight concert is the big moment for an unsigned band registered to play at a music conference such as New York’s College Music Journal festival or the mammoth South By Southwest in Austin.

There’s just one catch: An up-and-coming band like the Dammitheads have no control over when or, more importantly, where these shows will take place.

Tomaloff and drummer Steve Hawkins, who recently joined The Dammitheads full time to make Tomaloff’s one-man band a two piece, walked into the “venue,” which had a 20-foot-by-20-foot taco joint in the front that opened into a small stage area in the back.

“The club was kind of weird,” Tomaloff said, calling last week between seminars at the Meca conference. “It smelled like tacos a lot. I mean, it went well.”

Tomaloff and Hawkins won’t have to worry about playing any oddball taco joints when the band arrives for the eighth Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, which takes place from June 24-26. The Dammitheads are slated to perform at Fisaga, a swank restaurant on Harrisburg’s Second Street, at 1 a.m. June 26.

The Dammitheads stick out on the eighth conference’s schedule of bands not only because the band is coming out from Wisconsin but also because of its stripped-down stage show.

The band delivers its straight-ahead rock onstage just like it does on its debut album, “Freeze Motherstickers.” It’s just Hawkins on drums and Tomaloff on his big-bodied, full-sounding Ventura guitar.

No bassist. No second guitarist. No keyboard player.

Actually, The Dammitheads project, launched a little more than a year ago, was supposed to be more stripped down than that. Tomaloff wanted to do everything himself, and brought Hawkins in to help write a few tunes and play drums on the record only.

Previous bands he had fronted broke up because members ditched out on him over petty little things.

“I’ve been in a lot of bands that, when you’re on the verge of doing something, the bassist wants to do something else, or the drummer doesn’t like the politics,” said Tomaloff, a 31-year-old native of Racine. “I wanted to do something where there’s no excuses.”

Tomaloff and Hawkins recorded the 12 songs for “Freeze Motherstickers,” including the jagged “Gimme Blood” and the instant night rock classic “Stopengo,” in Tomaloff’s basement (tunes from the album can be found on The Dammitheads’ Web site,

After recording, they slicked up the sound by having the tunes mixed at Tiny Telephone, a studio in San Francisco.

But then it came time for The Dammitheads to play out, and Tomaloff had to decide how to best deliver his rock.

Rather than hire a tour-only bassist and other players, Tomaloff decided to enlist Hawkins and give it a go as a duo, a la The White Stripes, Local H and newcomers The Kills.

“It was like, this is kind of cool, so let’s do this and see where it goes,” Tomaloff said.

And where it’s gone so far is pretty good. The aforementioned “Stopengo” has been licensed for a new TV series on the Oxygen Network called “Good Girls Don’t” and will be played in the second episode of the show. The band also signed a one-off co-publishing deal with Pete Ganbarg of Puretone Music for the leadoff track “Allright.” Ganbarg was the brains behind Carlos Santana’s recent re-emergence, pairing the guitar legend with current stars like Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas to score big Billboard hits.

And then there’s the upcoming Millennium conference, where Tomaloff is only seeking fun and connections with fellow scuffling unsigned bands.

“I don’t have any high hopes that we’re going to come out there and make a million dollars,” Tomaloff said. “I guess coming out there, I hope that it’s a fun trip. I hope to meet some fairly cool people, meet some cool bands.”

And, hopefully, to avoid playing any weird taco joints.

- York Daily Record - Peter Bothum

"Millennium performers run the gamut: CDs of Note"

"Freeze Motherstickers..." by The Dammitheads (Hey!Lowsound Recordings)

The Dammitheads describe their work as "it's rock and roll... it's's weird." "It's deceiving" could easily be added to the list.

At first listen, the "Freeze Motherstickers..." CD appears to be a well-written, well-produced work of a talented group of musicians.

As it turns out The Dammitheads are just two guys playing a long list of instruments.

David Tomaloff is the driving force behind the D-heads producing quirky sounding tunes with dark lyrics about angst, "ultrakinetic" angst and "anerasia."

Drummer Steve Hawkins, who provides percussion work on the CD, recently joined Tomaloff to form a "band." Seeing these two do these songs live should make for an interesting evening. - The Patriot News - Barry Fox


Album: The Heart of the Matador
Recomended tracks:
The Heart of the Matador
I Kid You Not
A Painting of the Sea
Album: Freeze Motherstickers... (2004)
Recommended Tracks:
Stop Engo
Gimme Bood
Taking the Long Way Home


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Dammitheads are a rock and roll entity unabashed and unbowed. While the name serves to represent the group as a band, it more accurately puts to name the creative writing/recording vehicle and schizophrenic alter-ego for one otherwise begrudgingly titled singer/songwriter named David Tomaloff and his creative counterpart, drummer Steve Hawkins.

The Dammitheads are a strange contradiction by design that refuses to be defined by today’s oft too matter-of-course musical precepts, recording their own records as they see fit…damn the torpedoes…playing all of the instruments themselves and performing augmented versions of their songs live, as a two-piece.

Their objective is simple: to create music that speaks to those less spoken to by the whole of the mainstream and its various mediums, while simultaneously offering something to everyone who listens. Their sound recalls hints of bands such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, T-Rex, The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Cars and Gang of Four.

The Dammitheads have garnered quite a bit of positive attention since the release of their critically celebrated and highly regarded debut album, Freeze Motherstickers in March 2004. Not only has the duo landed a co-publishing deal for several songs from the album with A&R veteran, Pete Ganbarg of Pure Tone Music, the band has also licensed several songs to network television and film nationally as well as internationally and have been chosen to showcase at several national music conferences.

The band’s second and latest release, The Heart of the Matador, shows the band confidently stretching out in terms of both musical fortitude and studio savvy. Analogously speaking, if Freeze were Alexander’s outnumbered Macedonian army assembling on the plains of Gaugamela to assess a strategic plan of attack, then The Heart of the Matador is most assuredly the undaunted charge into battle that brought historic victory over the ample armies of King Darius III.

Sweeping historic metaphors aside, the pertinent words here are “rock” and “roll”. The sound is unapologetically thick and bleeding. The keen sense of almost poetic lyrical imagery, delivered with a healthy dose of old school swagger is enough to inspire even the most jaded of fists back into the air.

All of the elements here integrate seamlessly, almost to the point of begging the question, “Is The Heart of the Matador a songwriter’s record cleverly masquerading as a brazen collection of swaggering rockers or is it a rocker’s record masquerading artfully as a shrewdly constructed songwriter’s opus, coyly impinging on concept album territory?” The knowing is in the listening…and the believing is in the knowing.

The Heart of the Matador was conceived and recorded at the band’s own Hey! Low Sound System and mixed by the inimitable Joel Hamilton at Studio G, Brooklyn.