One might be tempted to ask David Lowy and THE DEAD DAISIES just what the hell the band is trying to prove by ramming four studio albums, two EPs and a live package into a meager five-year span. Culling 14 singles to this point through the supergroup's latest slab, "Burn it Down", is it too premature to forecast a greatest hits package?
As one of rock's most in-demand acts for a scene desperately in need of a beacon light, we'll keep the background detail brief. If you're a newcomer, THE DEAD DAISIES were founded by guitarist David Lowy and former INXS vocalist Jon Stewart. Along the way, Stewart was replaced by Bernard Fowler, then John Corabi, the latter a well-loved troubadour songbird who has finally found his proper nesting place. The come-and-gone personnel list that has fortified this band in so short a time will make you as dizzy as the Reed who hung here for three years. This includes the recent arrival of JOURNEY/BAD ENGLIGH/REVOLUTION SAINTS drummer Deen Castronovo. Doug Aldrich and Marco Mendoza round out THE DEAD DAISIES's current armament, and with them, the band sounds louder, tougher and tighter than ever on "Burn it Down".
If you're a NASCAR buff, you've no doubt caught "Rise Up", the second track on "Burn it Down". If there's any mission to be staked by THE DEAD DAISIES, it's to remind the mainstream there's still a place for muscle rock. The lead-in strums to the fuming march behind "Rise Up" is designed to prime that inner rebel, which not only ye-haws behind the guns of 840 horsepower—restrictor plates be damned—but the average concertgoer looking for a night of release.
Fans have already come to expect a glossed-up version of American grit and power rock with British-styled blues, saluting everyone from AEROSMITH to THE ROLLING STONES to LED ZEPPELIN, adding shakes of ‘80s glam and hard rock. They also expect an obligatory cover or two, this time turning out a meh version of THE BEATLES's "Revolution". The nice surprise to "Burn it Down", however, is how massive it sounds. The album opens with the loud and sweaty "Resurrected", pumping with swaggering riffs all the way through and brilliantly finishing with an unexpected orchestral carnival.
On the ZEPPELIN tip, THE DEAD DAISIES cook up "What Goes Around" and the cocky power strut of "Dead and Gone", one of the album's meatiest and most enjoyable tracks. To the tune of AEROSMITH, there's "Leave Me Alone", "Judgment Day" and the swampy verses setting up the overt blare of the title cut. The oddball number is "Bitch", which takes a roughneck chomp out of Motown. The groove on this number is undeniable, and the grizzled John Corabi dials gloriously into the song's TEMPTATIONS-forever swing.
Much of "Burn it Down" is thunderous with David Lowy and Doug Aldrich putting on a six-string spectacle, and Marco Mendoza filling this album with one bass quake after another. Like most players who have hung in this band, Deen Castronovo has been damned near everywhere, and his contributions here plow into your ear canals. At times, John Corabi gets lost in the deafening mix, but his scruffy drawling is what a purposefully rambunctious album deserves. THE DEAD DAISIES may be accused of pushing themselves to strain by churning out so much product in so short a time, but with results this confident, the only plausible verdict is to say there's just no stopping them.