Review by Rick Ossian
I went to the mailbox the other day to sort through the assorted dross (bills, adverts, etc.) when to what did my weary eyes appear? Lo and behold, a new issue of Classic Rock Magazine. Of course, I was excited, because it was a 40th Anniversary special on AC/DC. Also contained within were two CD‘s of new music! Reason to celebrate, indeed. One of these CD’s just happens to be the eponymous debut from rock ‘collective’/supergroup The Dead Daisies. Now, when I say supergroup, please understand I don’t use this tag lightly. Their line-up includes Jon Stevens (Noiseworks, INXS) on vocals, Richard Fortus (formerly of Guns N’ Roses) on guitar, Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) on bass, Charley Drayton (Divinyls/Cold Chisel) on drums, Dizzy Reed (also of GN’R) on keys, and David Lowy (Red Phoenix/Mink/The Angels) also on guitar. Past members have included Alan Mansfield, Marco Mendoza, Alex Carapetis, Clayton Doley, Frank Ferrer and the mighty Brian Tichy.
Not much here for us metal-heads, but there are a couple of punchy numbers. This is more along the lines of hard rock (with a touch of Southern Rock) or ‘classic rock’ than it is heavy metal. It’s Gonna Take Time is sort of a medium-tempo country-rock tune, somewhere along the lines of The Black Crowes. Jon Stevens sounds like he could be the ghost of the vocalist from The Hatters – or maybe even a world-weary Lenny Kravitz. Some nice guitar work here, but a bit on the tame side.
Lock N’ Load (featuring Slash) should be killer but it’s sort of lackluster. It does rock, but there is an introspective acoustic section about 3:30, then they rock some more. The final solo is great but inevitably predictable. Washington is more of an uptempo boogie number, that Southern groove again with the Kravitz-style vocals, just not the sum of all of it’s parts.
Yeah Yeah Yeah is more of the same. Clean and good, yet I feel cheated somehow. I love the traditional Southern-style grooves, though, and there is a tasty country picking solo about 2 minutes in. Yesterday is a bluesy guitar ballad with another tasteful solo. Writing On the Wall features yet another Southern rock guitar figure in the intro, and again reminds me of the Hatters, and even, vocally, Dave Wyndorf of the mighty Monster Magnet.
Miles In Front of Me features an uptempo intro jam. Not sure what they’re shooting for here, but it just falls short. There is another guitar solo, again predictable but seems to fit the tune. Bible Row is a standout of sorts, featuring a drum intro with some cool guitar chords and a monster riff. I found myself wanting to bang my head and holler “hallelujah”, but refrained. The lyrics are a bit cheesy, but typical of the genre: ‘Chasin’ down a rainbow and a pot of gold/All I wanna do is play rock and roll‘.
Man Overboard is a cool blues number with some good guitar, and that inevitable blues cliche in the lyrics, ‘woke up this morning‘. Tomorrow includes a funky cool intro and some good riffing, and also includes positive lyrics about ‘true love (being) hard to find‘, and how tomorrow is a ‘brand new day‘ and ‘baby we can start again‘. Really? Ultimate lyrical cheese award here!
Can’t Fight This Feeling actually surprised me a bit. I was fully prepared to hear a cover version of the old R.E.O. Speedwagon tune, but instead was treated to another lovely blues ballad with another guitar solo at the end. Talk to Me, the closer, is a heavy-duty rocker (it’s about time, lads!), but unfortunately a case of too little too late. As mentioned above, if you are a fan of the Southern/classic rock genres, then you may find these cats uplifting. Hell, you may even enjoy their tunes. But metal it is NOT. So be forewarned!