APRIL ALBUM OF THE MONTH: THE DEAD DAISIES – BURN IT DOWN
The Dead Daisies are back with an almighty bang. Building on the critical success of ‘Revolucion’ and ‘Make Some Noise’, the new album ‘Burn It Down’ represents a bit of a new chapter – perhaps even a new beginning – for the band. It’s an album with more light and shade than its predecessors: Mixed in with the high-octane rockers, we have a protest song, a ballad and greater range of vocal performances from John Corabi. The greater bandwidth on this album makes the collection of songs all the richer, as the band puts down an early marker for an album of the year contender.
With the arrival of the new Dead Daisies album, the bar has been raised two or three notches on what good looks like in 2018.
The opening three tracks emphatically set the mood for the whole album. They come out the traps, full attack, each with visceral energy and a raw bite that’ll leave some of you needing to take a lie down after the first three songs. ‘Resurrected’ is a classic Dead Daisies tour-de-force single, slightly more abrupt and cutting edge than the singles from the last album and the song closes with a cinematic Bond-esque finale, oozing drama and confident intent. ‘Rise Up’ growls words of frustration through the verses counterpointed by rousing, empowering choruses – and it stands as a new kind of protest song for a new age. And it’s the kind of protest song we need today – not a song of political messages and subtext but an arresting rally cry for people to wake up, to think and then open eyes to some of the weird stuff going on around us in the world. With songs like this, rock music is testifying once again. To some, it helps makes rock feel relevant once more, with feet firmly planted in the contemporary. And this is the kind of rousing anthem that the rock genre has always done the best.
The title track, ‘Burn It Down,’ continues the character of the opening trilogy of songs, though it features a more tender, soulful-bluesy vocal from John Corabi during the verses – one of a number of tracks where we get to hear a different side of John singing and this helps to give the album greater depth and colour than its predecessors.
After the hurtling charge of the opening three racks, ‘Judgement Day’ gives us a momentary change of pace and mood with a hint of southern character. We then stampede back into action with ‘Bitch’ – and with a name like this, you know what you’re going to get before the song even starts! This is the kind of upbeat banger no one does better than The Dead Daisies – and Marco shines on bass throughout for a song few will be able to sit still to. Also with this track, you can feel you’re listening to band members that get on really well together, bounce off each other – and probably had a lot of fun together making the record. You can feel the band chemistry on this album – it’s implicit throughout and defines the character of what you hear.
And then on to the ballad: Yes, there’s a ballad on this album! I remember with ‘Make Some Noise’ a point was made about there being no ballads in sight. On this album, the ballad ‘Set Me Free’ adds something. During my recent radio interview with Doug Aldrich, he spoke about the genesis of this song: Marco working on chords in the studio, which the band latched onto and built on quite spontaneously.
The opening vocal lines of ‘Set Me Free’ made me think of ‘Purple Rain’ for a moment, but it’s the expressive guitar work that makes this song really shine. The arresting chorus line almost has a soulful, gospel feel to it – and I half expected Lynne Jackaman to make yet another one of her surprise guest appearances on backing vocals. With a UK tour around the corner, who knows, but I have a feeling this track could well fly on mainstream radio and open the band up to a broader audience beyond rock radio.
‘Dead and Gone’ and ‘Can’t Take It With You’ both grab your attention; powerful, grinding and unapologetically direct in equal measure.
They say that great concerts are the ones that start and end well. I think the same is true of great albums and The Dead Daisies get it spot on here. If ‘Resurrected’ is a punch in the face to open an album, the closer ‘Leave Me Alone’ draws you in for a rhythmic, empowering rocker that kind of celebrates individualism and personal freedom – the free spirit that underpins the very essence of rock n roll.
The final run of songs on the album, to me, captures the special ‘best of both worlds’ status the band has. The Dead Daises comprise of world-class, well-established musicians whose intuition and experience is evident on everything they produce. However, they also have that hunger of a young band – a keenness to explore, to try new things and even take risks. The fusion of the two – the new and the old – is an exciting one, and that combination is best captured on the new ‘Burn It Down’ album. It’s familiar but it’s also restless in wanting to push on to new places and do new things.
The Dead Daisies have always been a hit with us and the listeners of my Friday rock show. They were one of our most requested bands throughout 2016. Despite having a relatively quiet 2017, the band still finished our massive end of year listener poll – of more than 25,000 votes – coming in 3rd out of 167 bands. Already, ‘Resurrected’ and ‘Rise Up’ have been pulling in requests week-in week-out – and there’s no doubt in my mind that ‘Burn It Down’ will please loyal fans whilst also winning over new audiences.
In recent months, I’ve seen or read a number of interviews with the band and so often people prompt the question on whom the Dead Daisies sound like with this new album. To me, that somewhat misses the point. The Dead Daisies sound like The Dead Daisies: For sure, every band has influences, but the band’s sound – its DNA – is very much its own: They’re one of a handful of bands who are instantly recognisable within 15 seconds of hearing a track. In a rock scene where too many people still look back to the 80s and 90s, the new Dead Daisies album makes a statement about living in ‘the now.’ They’ve burned it down to come back with something fresh and firmly rooted in the music scene of 2018. With such a vibrant rock scene for new and emerging bands, we could perhaps all take a leaf out of their book. It’s time to live in the rock world of today people and invest in what’s possible tomorrow: It’s time to burn it down.
Burn It Down is released on 6 April 2018
Pre-order a copy of the album today here http://amzn.eu/3FY1dTS
For more news and information on the band visit: www.thedeaddaisies.com
UK TOUR DATES
(with special guests The Amorettes)
• Glasgow – 8th April
• Wolverhampton – 9th April
• London (Koko) – 10th April
• Manchester – 12th April
• Nottingham – 13th April
• Bristol – 14th April
Quite a number of our radio interviews with the band online now to enjoy and share as listen again. Some links below