The first thing that you notice upon cranking up the new album from The Dead Daisies is that ‘Burn It Down’ is the heaviest output from the musical collective so far. The fourth studio album is the sound of a band that have put in the miles on the road, are a beginning to reap the rewards. Throw in a new member in the shape of ex-Journey drummer and current Revolution Saints frontman Deen Castronovo, and the mix is just right for a 2018 that is already jam-packed with live shows. Castronovo has an incredible voice, as anyone that has heard the two Revolution Saints albums will testify, but here it’s his prowess behind the kit that gets the attention, especially on heavy hitters like ‘Dead And Gone’ and ‘Can’t Take It With You’, where his work with bassist Marco Mendoza is top notch.
‘Burn It Down’ is one of those rarities amongst new albums, it’s short. Ten tracks on the vinyl, eleven on the CD. No filler, no faffing about, the music does indeed do the talking. It’s also instant. ‘Resurrected’ makes for a great album opener as John Corabi asks, “Stare in the mirror, lines on my face, and I wonder where the time has gone…”, before answering his own question with a scream, ”I’m back…. resurrected”, and the lovely, sleazy guitar sound from Doug Aldrich, ably assisted by David Lowy. As much as Castronovo is out to make up for lost time, Aldrich is as equally as impressive, and gets better with each outing. Special mention has to go to the James Bond-esque arrangements that play the track out; very special indeed. ‘Rise Up’ begins with a Thin Lizzy ‘Emerald’ vibe that settles into a rather satisfying groove that will induce involuntary head bobbing when played live. A knockout opening one-two.
So what do you get between ‘Rise Up’ and closing track (on the standard version) ‘Leave Me Alone’? You get pulsating bass from Mendoza on the slow burning (pun intended) ‘Burn It Down’, which has a beast of groove. Think of the quiet parts of ‘Juke Box Hero’, but only after it had drunk a few cases of old style Irn Bru… the pre-sugar-reduction type. ‘Judgement Day’ has a fantastic rambling, laid back intro, which periodically explodes into a gnarly headbanging beauty, ‘What Goes Around’ is all about the fuzzy guitar sound and skull rattling cymbal work from Castronovo, ‘Bitch’ swings like a motherfucker, especially since it’s a Stones cover, and ‘Set Me Free’ is pure bliss man, pure bliss. A slower, bluesy number that could be considered the ballad on the album except it’s not actually a ballad. Well, not a slushy, saccharine ballad per se. More like the kind of slow number that Bad Company did so well.
Corabi has never sounded better, and with headline appearances at numerous festivals in 2018, The Dead Daisies are making a pretty big statement of intent. Put them up against the best of the best and they will give them a run for their money. With ‘Burn It Down’, and the addition of Castronovo, the future is looking very good for The Dead Daisies.
Available April 6th. More information, including all tour dates, can be found here.