Dizzy Reed - ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Easy’ (Golden Robot Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 04:40

Dizzy Reed artworkTo twist an old phrase that starts a song from that little band Dizzy has played in for almost 30 years- what we have here is a reason to celebrate. Timeless classic hard rock incorporating killer guitar, choruses that beg to be sung, piano, and a free spirit that taps into all that is good. This album connected with me on first listen and shows no signs of letting go. Dizzy and team have crafted an album that shows the brilliant start of new releases in 2018 is continuing here in February.

 

‘This Don’t Look Like Vegas’ actually serves very well as the first single and lead track from the album as it captures so many elements of the album. People close to me know that I am a firm believer in having a pianist handy for bands, and Dizzy shows why I feel that way time and time again on this album. Most of the songs here are based on the guitar riffs with the piano adding depth to the mix and providing color throughout each song.

 

The mix on this album is brilliant as each instrument can be heard while also sounding like what I would expect to hear live. ‘Mother Theresa’ keeps the great music coming with a huge sound that maintains an edge. This album screams at the listener to roll the windows down and let everyone else hear it too. ‘Cheers 2 R Oblivion’ induces smiles with great energy and a hook that burns into the brain as everything disappears except for the keyboard and the vocals for a brief moment. ‘Fragile Water’ slows the tempo slightly, and my notes after repeated listens say GN’R’s ‘Yesterdays’ on steroids. The piano and vocal intro giving way to a musically life affirming anthem drenched in lyrical adversity. While Dizzy might not have the vocal prowess of some singers, his vocals bleed with passion and heart and fit the music perfectly.

 

 

‘Dirty Bomb’ should be a monster radio hit with elements from that other band he plays with shining through here. The guitar work is fantastic and shows this album going from strength to strength. ‘Mystery in Exile’ shows off some great piano work on this rocker that exudes energy with great backing vocals and a killer chorus. Dizzy has tapped into the heart of rock ‘n’ roll and just makes me want to keep playing this album over and over again. ‘I Celebrate’ shows Dizzy go with a higher pitch in the chorus with another great backing vocal reaffirming the hook. Rock radio should be all over this album. ‘Understanding’ dials back the guitar through the verse but still rocks hard just as hard with the vocal dancing over the drums. The organ solo fits perfectly within the context of the song.

 

The final third of the record begins with ‘Crestfallen’ placing more emphasis on the piano at the beginning but cranks up the guitar as it goes. In what feels like a lazy comparison, I could say that this is a more aggressive ‘Estranged’ delivered in half the time. It again features a great guitar solo and is over all too soon. ‘Forgotten Cases’ should be on jukeboxes until the end of time. The song swings effortlessly and compels the listener to start singing some of the chorus by the end of the song. Crowds should have the drink of their choice in their arm as they celebrate all that is good in the world. Another song where I have multiple notes about a great guitar solo.

 

‘Reparations’ provides another straight up rocker in the spirit of Michael Monroe with Dizzy pounding on the keys like he is channeling Jerry Lee Lewis. The title track closes out the album with some killer piano on what is the closest this album gets to a ballad. It provides the perfect contrast to the beautiful shambolic rock that came before and feels like the house lights have come on but no one wants to leave. All too soon this album is over as these 50 minutes seem to go by quicker and quicker.

 

Sadly my notes do not tell me everyone that plays on the record, but there are some very familiar names helping Dizzy here. Ricky Warwick, Richard Fortus (solo on first song) and Mayuko Okai all contribute on guitar. Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.) on drums and Mike Duda (W.A.S.P.) on bass are both outstanding as this feels like a band with great chemistry. The band has a swagger and a confidence; based on the album, I think they have a good reason too.

 

For me, this stands up as an incredibly strong Album of the Year contender in a year that has already seen some tremendous albums released. I enjoy it more than any of the other members albums from that small day job Dizzy has, which surprised me as I love that Ju Ju Hounds album. Dizzy and team have made a timeless classic hard rock record that like Soraia’s recent album I anticipate playing for the next few decades. Now, let me dive back into this slice of rock ‘n’ roll heaven.

 

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Easy’ is released on 16 February. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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