Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Album Review: The Dead Daisies - Revolucion

Are there any words that can be written about Guns N' Roses anymore than carry any meaning? The band now defines what it is to be a joke in rock and roll, having spent the last two decades doing everything in their power to make people believe it's all been a long con. But the players in the current version of the band still have a bit of integrity, so when they're able to escape the evil clutches of the band that does nothing, they like to prove they are still capable of creating music. A couple of them join forces in The Dead Daisies, this time fronted by one time Motley Crue singer John Corabi. Yes, I realize how appealing that sounds. Stay with me for a minute.

Moving beyond the joke of saying that the biggest thing to take note of is that this album exists, what The Dead Daisies do here is make an album that shows they just want to have fun and play some actual music. Over the course of thirteen tracks, and nearly an hour, they bash out some simple rock and roll, and sound like they're having a lot of fun doing it. That can't be said of the bigger bands these peope have been in before this.

Things kick off an a positive note with "Mexico", which given its message of having a good time partying down south, should be a Sammy Hagar song. But the song has a nice groove, and an energy to it that makes it appealing, unlike "Evil", which is a failed attempt at writing a dark and dirty track. Instead of sounding sinister, it stands out like a sore thumb on an album that is mostly about having a good time. There's more than enough material here, so it should have been left on the cutting room floor.

After that, the album settles into a comfortable groove, with a selection of rockers that bring hooks to the table, and softer songs that emphasize the band's melodic capabilities. "Empty Heart" is a standout, with it's flawless guitar tone, swaggering attitude, and huge chorus that makes it a massive bar-band anthem. It's one of those songs that reminds you that rock and roll gets too far up its own behind sometimes, that all you need is a riff and a melody to make a great song.

They prove their veteran credentials throughout the record by doing that, making music that is both timeless and endearing. A song like "Something I Said" could have been a long lost Eagles or Jayhawks songs, and that vintage Americana vibe is where the band is at their best. That feeling pops up in "With You And I" and "Sleep", which are among the best tracks here.

What don't work as well are the harder rocking numbers. They aren't bad, but the hooks get lost as the guitars get turned up. The guitar playing just isn't interesting to carry whole songs alone, and that's what happens on "Get Up, Get Ready", and the aforementioned "Evil", and those are the tracks that drag the album down. I get why the band wanted to have a harder edge and some more attitude on the record, but it's not what they're best at.

What "Revolucion" can best be considered is a fun diversion from the usual rock and roll drama. It's a fun record that has some good songs, and is an enjoyable way to pass some time. It isn't the kind of record that is going to make a deep and lasting impact, but they don't all need to. "Revolucion" is a good record, a perfect summertime record, and that's fine by me.

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