The Dead Daisies - 'The Dead Daisies' (Universal Music Australia) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Jamie Richards   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 03:20

thedeaddaiseisalbumcoverImitation is a sincere form of flattery they say. Maybe. This year, a lot of years lately in fact, have been awash with it; there’s the Thunder-plundering, Free and Faces coveting-classic-rock-revisionists making a play for vintage-style, jaunty angled hat domination. There’s also the (usually) heavily bearded, Hawkwind-Sabbath doom worshipers, who, whilst on the face of it may seem a tad more credible, are in truth also having their war campaigns heavily funded by record companies who, in this current era where music has become nothing more than a commodity that people like to acquire without cost, see these revisionists as a sure fire way to access the wallets of nostalgic, middle aged rockers who still occasionally part with actual money for their musical product.

 

The only positive thing I can find to say about the whole sorry situation, is that it is at least a genuine step away from the rock pantomime that is the ‘tribute band’ industry, and please let’s keep moving firmly in this direction, and one day that whole idiotic situation will seem like a silly memory that we’re all slightly embarrassed about and eventually will agree never to even mention.

 

So then, with all this nostalgia being the ‘new’ thing, I suppose it was a matter of time before someone with a few quid got behind a band like The Dead Daisies, a ‘super-group’ in all but….but the fact that each member has tenuous links to previous big name bands that are so frail, even Wikipedia would think twice before bothering to mention it.

 

Those links though, are an integral part of the selling point of The Dead Daisies, otherwise why would they bother to print all of the members names alongside the bands they have been linked to in the past on a massive two page advertisement in a recent national publication? Whilst the bands in question are undoubtedly massive names, I do not believe any of these members were part of any particularly ‘golden’ period for any of them, whether that’s Jon Stevens with INXS or Richard Fortus with Guns N’ Roses or Thin Lizzy (apparently). So whilst these boys might be back in town, it’s a good bet that only connoisseurs will know any of the ‘names’.

 

So what was my point? Oh yeah, this particular revisionist band, who I imagine were either ‘manufactured’ by a third party on our behalf, or otherwise maybe formed on their own steam in order to hit the current nostalgia market, are a little different to the previously mentioned categories in that they’re much more representative of that late ’80s period in rock. You know the period we’ve been trying to forget about for the last twenty odd years (and succeeding for the most part), that time in rock where Bon Jovi reached such massive, death (and talent) defying heights, they subsequently sparked an entire industry into poodle haired- melodic-AOR overdrive.

 

There’s absolutely no argument about the quality of playing on here, and, yes, Jon Stevens can wail on a level that Myles Kennedy can only have high pitched dreams about, but it’s the standard-by-numbers song writing that just leaves me in such a wave of wonderment as to how anybody could give even the tiniest fuck about a record like this in the year 2013, or indeed beyond.  

 

Slash even plays on one song, ‘Lock ‘n’ Load’, just in case you were still in any doubt about the friends in high places these individuals have, and at times it’s undeniably a little catchy…but then so are the songs One Direction release, it really is that formulaic. Just ask yourself what’s the difference between five 18 year old boys singing throw away pop songs for a market swamped with teenage girls, and six forty something rockers aiming catchy, simplistic nostalgic rock music at a market they perceive to be full of people who want just that…it’s supply and demand, nothing more, nothing less. Then ask yourself if you think the world of heavy rock should be content to be served up reheated Rolling Stones-Bon Jovi hybrids that are looking to cash in with familiar riffs and clumsy school boy lyrics, or whether ‘we’ deserve a little more respect? I vote with my feet personally, that’s why you wouldn’t have caught me dead(pun!) at one of The Dead Daisies’ recent gigs on tour with that other well known ‘those-were-the-days’ rock pantomime going by the name Black Star Riders.

 

The Dead Daisies’ entire existence is a shameless attempt to give people what they want, but we all know that real innovators take risks, they have dreams, imagination, integrity, authenticity and belief, and in the best cases they create something people didn’t even know they wanted, just ask Steve Jobs. Next time you look at your iPhone, just remember you’d be still queuing at a red phone box if it wasn’t for risk takers and innovators. The revolution does not start (or end) with The Dead Daisies.

 

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