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| 13 September 2015 | Reply

Spitfire Music
August 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10

The Dead Daisies - Revolución Digipak Cover

As a loose collective orbiting around founder and money man David Lowy, Dead Daisies could easily have fallen straight to the bargain basement bins as a rich middle-aged man’s conceit, if it were not for the sheer quality of the band.

There’s been a couple of substitutions to the line-up since their eponymous debut album: Out are Brian Tichy and, after some personal ups & downs, singer Jon Stevens. In are Jackie Barnes on the drum kit and singer John Corabi, ex-Motley Crue.

Accordingly, the soulful edge that Stevens brought with him has sunk further down in the mix, and the sheer arena rock has been amped up with Corabi’s presence. This is no bad thing – Revolución is a kick-arse rock n’ roll record, but it might prove difficult to build a coherent body of work over time with radically different line-ups on each album.

Opener Mexico – first heard on the band’s last Australian tour with Stevens at the helm – is the perfect start to a balls-to-the-wall album. Instantly memorable and made for singing along to, it lays out the blueprint for Revolución.

Their take on Willie Dixon’s blues classic Evil takes it firmly into Jimi Hendrix territory with incendiary soloing by Richard Fortus. Something I Said is another song that dates back to Stevens’ tenure with the band, and Corabi makes a good fist of channelling its early R&B roots.

Corabi and Fortus provide many of the thrills throughout Revolución – which is not to say the rest of the band members slack off. It’s their impeccable groove, locked deep in the pocket, that lets the show-offs do what they do best!

There is a little bit of filler amongst the thirteen tracks: Jimmy Barnes’ duet Empty Heart is okay but drags a bit and sticks out like a sore thumb here. Sleep aims at being a slow burning epic a la Gn’R’s November Rain, or Lizzy’s Still in Love With You, but falls a fair bit short and lingers far too long.

But when they get it right – which is most of the time – they are a relentless force. Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s Midnight Moses is explosive, while Devil Out Of Time shows just how good these guys are when they get their considerable talents all working together. Album closer Critical – another which dates back to Stevens’ time – is an superb exercise in dynamics, the band creating a tempered mood before hitting the gas, then backing off for a while and repeating the tease like a torturous lover not allowing their partner to climax. It’s a great way to close the record and is a guaranteed live favourite to come.

Category: CD Reviews

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