The Dead Daisies - 'Make Some Noise' (Spitfire/SPV) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Mark Ashby   
Monday, 11 July 2016 03:00

DD300reviewFor those unfamiliar with the concept of The Dead Daisies, the band is a sort of revolving door “supergroup”, whose line-up changes depending on the availability of its various “members” to respectively/subsequently record/tour. The brainchild of Australian guitarist David Lowy, the first incarnation of the band came together in the latter half of 2012, and featured the likes of former Guns N’ Roses hired hands Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed. Five years, and (now) three albums, down the line, the group has reinvented itself again, with the latest recruit being guitarist extraordinaire Dough Aldrich, who has teamed up with former Whitesnake bandmate Marco Mendoza (perhaps, alongside founder Lowy, the longest serving Daisy), former Mötley Crüe stand-in John Corabi on vocal duties and the one and only Brian Tichy behind the kit…

 

With this, their third album – the release of which is prequeled by the band’s return to these shores for a handful of headline shows around three festival appearances in two days – the Daisies continue their chosen path of taking rock ‘n’f’n’ roll back to its roots and away from the high-end glossy over productions which arguably have characterized their collective CVs to date, with recordings done virtually live, in both New York and Nashville within the very limited time frame available to do so… The result is an album which is raw and energetic, with a vibrancy rare in “supergroups” of this nature: in fact, it genuinely sounds like five guys messing about in a studio, bouncing off each other and jamming some tunes (with a couple of covers thrown in for good measure, but we’ll come to those in due time).

 

ÜR readers will already be familiar with the album’s debut single and opening track, ‘Long Way To Go’, as it has been kicking around tinterweb for a month or so now… kicking off with a chugging rhythm guitar riff and a languid, almost louche, overplay from Aldrich, which in turn sets the tone for the dirty grunt of the main track, and in particular Corabi’s impish vocal, which again characterizes the feel of the album as a whole, as the singer references predecessors such as Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper in both his tonality and delivery style.

 

‘We All Fall Down’ is a hip-grinding sleazy grinder of the old school style, fuelled by its thumping rhythm and Aldrich’s glorious, winding riff and under-stated solo interjections. ‘Song And A Prayer’ grooves along with a nice restraint, especially in Corabi’s vocal, while Aldrich hints at just wanting to let rip as his guitar bubbles and boils just below the surface. ‘Mainline’ ups the pace substantially, rattling along like a freight train with no brakes, with a punky edge to both the riff and the melody and Corabi injecting a suitably gnarly edge to his vocal.  The title track hurls the album towards its midpoint and is a traditional fist-pumping rallying call which lives up to its title and undoubtedly will garner the desired effect on the Daisies’ forthcoming live dates.

 

A common thread with the Daisies’ two albums to date – 2013’s self-titled debut and last year’s ‘Revolución’ – was the inclusion of cover versions, and slightly off-the-wall choices at that, as they’ve resurrected the likes of Alex Harvey’s ‘Midnight Moses’ and The Beatles’ momentary foray into the world of nascent metal, ‘Helter Skelter’. Album number three is no exception, this time offering us Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Fortunate Son’ and The Who’s ‘Join Together’. The former, which has been a stable in their live set for a while now, closes off the first half of the album, and is an affectionate tribute, albeit a lot more heavily than the original, with plenty of oomph to the bottom end: you can almost see the smiles on their collective faces as they rocked this one out in the studio. ‘Join Together’ is faithful, and borders on being workmanlike (apart from Aldrich’s shredding and Corabi’s ever passionate vocal), but nevertheless reminds us of the enduring quality of great songs and great songmanship, and brings the album to a logical and suitably foot-tapping, head-nodding finale.

 

In between, ‘The Last Time I Saw The Sun’ takes us into the second act in high-kicking Aerosmith-meets-Van Halen style in a way which once again demonstrates the group’s affection for, and desire to pay homage to, the music they both love listening to and playing: it also features a beautiful bluesy denouement, including some lovely slide work from Aldrich. ‘Mine All Mine’ is another track that has that Tyler/Perry Jagger/Richards style shimmy to it, but with Corabi’s tongue-lashing vocal adding an acidic dimension to its classic swagger.  

 

‘How Does It Feel’ sees Aldrich’s guitar move front and centre again, trading licks with Corabi’s lyrics, which once again are complemented by the layered backing vocals which are another trademark of the Daisies sound. ‘Freedom’ picks up the musical and lyrical theme of ‘Mainline’, demonstrating the band’s ability to balance the sound of the album as an entity, as it roars along its desert highway with its throttle open full and the west wind ripping through its flowing locks. ‘All The Same’ sees Corabi take his tongue and ram it very firmly into your tonsils, grind his hips into yours and spin you into one of the dirtiest dances you’ll enjoy this set of the Sunset Strip, while the song itself grunts and grooves and simply oozes sex appeal from every note and snap of Tichy’s snare drum: it also features a great workout from Aldrich, but one which unfortunately suffers from the song’s fade out, as I could have listening to that fret-ripping all fucking night!

 

With the band having eschewed the keyboards in favour of a harder sound, in ‘Make Some Noise’, The Dead Daisies have produced an accomplished (well, would you expect anything less?) and energetic album, made by five highly experienced musicians who basically can’t and don’t give a fuck about anything other than playing good old-fashioned rock ‘n’f’n’ roll and doing it on their terms…

 

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