There are some bands that you can almost guess what they’ll sound like, just by their name – Rammstein would be one, and even Iron Maiden to a certain extent. The Dead Daisies aren’t exactly in that category – in all honesty, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started listening.
The opening of the first track, “Resurrected”, dispelled any doubts though. I’m a firm believer that if the opening track of an album doesn’t grab you by the proverbials and make you want to keep listening, then there isn’t much point continuing on – after all, an album is only as good as its weakest track.
There were no such problems here – in fact, I listened to Resurrected four times before I ventured further into the album. I’ve never listened to the Dead Daisies before, but this song felt somehow…familiar. Not that I’ve heard it before, but…well, honesty I’m not sure how to explain what I mean. But it’s a good thing.
So, after numerous listenings to “Resurrected”, I figured it was time to move on to the rest of the album. This was definitely a good idea and not something I should have put off. Yes, “Resurrected” is a brilliant song – but it really is just the tip of the iceberg here.
“Rise Up” immediately gets your foot tapping and your head nodding. This is the sort of song that will, inevitably, become a staple of Dead Daisies’ sets for the foreseeable future.
“Burn It Down” brings things back to a slightly slower pace, with a feel of Bon Jovi (back before they went a bit more mainstream-y) to the song. Indeed, the entire song feels a bit bluesy, in the best possible way. It’s clear to see why this has been chosen as the first single off the album – it showcases each member of the band’s abilities, while simultaneously melding them into one all-powerful song.
If you close your eyes when “Judgement Day” comes on, you almost taste the whiskey as you sit in a Wild West saloon, waiting for the inevitable gunfight to happen. And that’s almost exactly what happens, with a salvo of drums to usher in the slightly rockier chorus.
“What Goes Around” brings us rocking back to the present day – well, almost. This song wouldn’t feel out of place on an 80s movie like Terminator or Robocop. And since they are clearly two of the greatest movies ever made, that’s quite an accomplishment.
I think it’s safe to say that when you see a song title called “Bitch”, you have a fair idea what you’re going to get, even if it’s only roughly. This ain’t going to be a ballad or a soppy love song. There’s a good chance this is going to be a hard rocking, guitar-filled, adrenaline-fueled ride. And that’s pretty much what we get here.
Set Me Free, on the other hand, is a lot more understated. It’s clear from the outset of this song that it’s going to be a bit different from what we’ve been listening to so far. You can almost think of this song like a palate cleanser – but with a lot more body to it. It’s very much a “lighters in the air” moment in the album and showcases just how brilliant John Corabi’s vocals can be.
Dead and Gone brings us crashing back to what passes for normality, with a guitar-led song that should, if there’s any justice in the world anywhere, be a single. This is a great song that wouldn’t sound out of place on any decent hard rock album from the last twenty odd years (if not longer).
With that, we’re on to the final two songs – “Can’t Take It With You” being first up. This is another one that will get your foot and head going. The opening few lines take aim at our materialistic society – and this is definitely a theme that continues on through the rest of the song. At first glance, it might seem a bit odd to have a song with a message like this in an album that isn’t exactly political. But look again at the track names – there’s more than one that alludes to death and what happens around it.
“Leave Me Alone” is a great way to end the album, and in fact wouldn’t sound out of place closing a Dead Daisies gig. I haven’t got to see them live yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that they come to Northern Ireland at some point in the near future…
All in all, this is a really solid album. There’s nothing spectacular here, but that’s because the Dead Daisies don’t need spectacle. What they have is good, old-fashioned rock – great guitars, great vocals, great songs. And at the end of the day…that’s what we all want, isn’t it?