[ALBUM REVIEW] The Dead Daisies – Burn It Down

BURN IT DOWN TRACK-LISTING

1 Resurrected
2. Rise Up
3. Burn It Down
4. Judgement Day
5. What Goes Around
6. Bitch
7. Set Me Free
8. Dead And Gone
9. Can’t Take It With You
10. Leave Me Alone

Reviewed by Casper of Rohan

Resurrected opens proceedings brilliantly with a few instrumental slaps across the face to command your attention and fortunately we like our rock rough and ready so a merely a love tap for daisies fans, but what is communicated from the outset is that Burn It Down is a big burly bruiser and melodic heavy hitter set to pound us like never before.  Big fat and powerful riffage, rhythm and percussive punch all accompanied by lyrics and vocal delivery that will have your chest inflated and strutting about in righteous accompaniment.  C’mon fellow phoenix, lets celebrate with The Dead Daisies.   This is the type of rock that brings goosebumps to the surface and sees you skipping a breath or two in excited glee.  Oh yes, your The Dead Daisies instinct is on high alert…this album is going to be a stomper.

Rise Up has been released early and although creating waves of celebration, is even more exciting in sequence in-situ because it reinforces that the first was not a fluke of splendiferous fortune but planned and perfectly executed opener leading to a subsequent step up even higher and already soaring. I can not wait to hear how much of this amazing track so chock full of raw and organic instrumental effect was improvised in studio.  This track is a splendid example of how each band member, with the guidance and expertise of Marti are each an equal contributor to the triumphant sound that is achieved on this collection.  Marco is the groove jewel in the crown of this sensational track and testament as to why Marco is so accomplished and only his rhythmic mastery will do for the daisies.

The title track Burn It Down opens as a bass heavy, bluesy beast before John provides vocal credence as to why he one of the finest rock vocalists of all time.  Just when you think you are settle in for a change of pace from the previous two offerings, Doug beautifully instills a sense of urgency and impending lift-off before hitting us an Angus-esque bridge that AC/DC would be proud to call their own and then, a powerful chorus carries us off.  This track is, to me at least, evidence of the creative edge that the arrival of John afforded Revolucion and remains reminiscent of that sound, but now adorned with the unrestrained skills of each performer, blasting this collection into the stratosphere.  At finale, just assemble all the vintage masters and let them jam, this is exactly the sound achieved.  This track gives an insight as to why Doug Aldrich is often referred to as the Golden God and is without doubt, one of the finest and most revered rock guitarists in the world.  Just amazing.

Judgement Day is ushered in with a very particular and solemn  acoustic reverence and this mood is constant throughout but as I reflect on comments offered in review of previous The Dead Daisies albums, comments along the lines of knocking listeners socks off prompt me to offer words of caution.  Be careful where you play this track because if previous albums did knock items of clothing off, you will be standing butt naked after this.  This song is a work of utter genius transforming a superior example of blues infused southern rock, complete with harmonica into a pounding rock anthem of gargantuan appeal.  No need for bait throughout this unbelievable track, there an irresistible hook for everyone here.  The lyrics, the vocals, the guitars, the drums, the bass, this entire track just keeps reverberation though your very being. Unbelievable.

What Goes Around is when the importance of efficient and appealing sequencing truly comes to the fore, because just when you thought you couldn’t possibly move of from the Judgement Day, this song grabs you by the scruff of the neck and marches you onward with is melodic magnificence.  Marches?  More like struts right beside you with all the swagger of a righteous rock classic, but with riffage and solos that will have you screwing up your face, pursing your lips, squinting your eyes and clenching your arse tighter than a drum while pushing our air guitar accompaniment. But just when you thought this collection could not get more exciting and you find yourself staggering about grasping for solid support, sweating at the brow, trying desperately to draw breath enough to utter in James Brown style ‘can’t go on….can’t go on’, Bitch picks you up and hurls you skyward one again and although, undoubtedly hypoxic you cant help but grin in bewildered glee.  The Dead Daisies always cover the work of masters and influences in keeping with their own rock heritage, and that is now a well established tradition on The Dead Daisies albums.

I seldom lapse into the vernacular but its at this point, listening to how The Dead Daisies celebrate the track from The Rolling Stones, I find myself compelled to pen my first reaction which was very simply, “oh fuck right off…how much gooder can gooderer get and what’s a word more that carries more awesome than FUCK? ”.

I sincerely apologise for that unseemly outburst and hope I cause no offence or upset.  Just be further warned…don’t listen to this album for the first time in polite company.  I think your reaction will be reasonably close to mine. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK…FUCKFUCKFUUUUUCK.

Ahem….sorry.

Now it is quite obvious that the band know exactly what they have created and Marti knows that we best give folks a chance to come down for a rest, lest someone drop off the perch and so Set Me Free provides a chance to regain some composure.  A beautiful track that yet again is demonstrative of each protagonist’s experience and knowledge of rock appeal.  You will find yourself putting this gem on repeat to lift you from those melancholic moods and even if he or she dumped you, this one will serve as your crutch and we all know that you are the cool one and need your freedom from their constraints.  We know you are the cool one who did the dumping and needed their freedom, because you own this album, right?  But don’t get too bombastic just yet because just when you think you’re in control, a Hendrix style reverb, akin to the beginning of Foxy Lady grabs you with its irresistible allure and Dead And Gone seats you in the catapult yet again.  You feel yourself being drawn backwards yet again and prepare yourself for the unbelievably exciting release, launched again into the might of the track, soaring with each lick, each beat each strum, thump and riff.  This is something else entirely.

Can’t Take It With You is in keeping with all that preceded in raw ferocity, right down to the screeching and distortion paving its way into your life, but it also lacks nothing in the melody department.  As I ponder spending it all on Les Pauls and fun times, just getting perfectly established in the thrilling beat, timing and adornment of riffage, the collection closer arrives and provides the perfect finale.   That may seem a contradiction in terms but Leave Me Alone sinks the hook firmly in your cheek one final time and guarantees that you will be straight back to the beginning of the album, thereby avoiding any finale at all. Wow.

It is difficult to summarise an extraordinary album of this magnitude and a temptation presents to attempt assembly of a gaggle of descriptors in attempt to represent the sound within.  Rock music is a state of mind, coupled with a particular attitude borne of a rebellious spirit and a sound that establishes a metaphysical connection with your very being, allowing every emotion to be drawn forth and celebrated in its own right.  It is also what The Dead Daisies do, and this is the heaviest album they have produced to date.

Marti Frederiksen has helped each member of The Dead Daisies challenge themselves as musicians and truly explore their phenomenal capabilities.  Each of the band members carry a vast chunk of contemporary rock history with their every step and it would be simple for them to create a great rock album just as simply as I draw breath, but that would not be the work of masters.  This would not satisfy these sensational musicians and Marti is known for extracting from a group their true capabilities.  Establishing where a band are currently and where they can establish their next plane of existence.  These musicians are all incredibly skilled, but they have produced something beyond mere ability.

Perhaps there are additional dimensions to the personalities of these remarkable musicians, even elements that escape their own conscious attention.  Maybe there has been a catharsis for one or more members or an additional source of energy and exuberance brought by others. Perhaps second chances or just having fun? Perhaps this is what David has envisioned all along. Maybe the planets have aligned in a specific and special configuration or it rained just the right way in 2017.  Who really knows what has happened so precisely?  Perhaps not even Marti, but this is not a case of ‘this band member who used to play for’, or ‘that person who used to do this and that’.  This is The Dead Daisies and they have together tapped a well of rock brilliance.  A line in the sands of time and a chapter in the annals of rock history has been firmly established with Burn It Down.  This is masters at work and together they have created a masterwork of rock magnificence.

But hold on to your hats because the lads will be taking Burn It Down on the road very soon and we can expect a huge response.  A celebration and tour run like the world has seldom seen.  Its fortunate these people are all so experienced and skilled to take on such a challenge.

Now I finish by offering a word of personal experience over a few years with these guys, but never enough to breach the bonds of trust.  John, I’m not sure that Doug is fifteen years older than you and I’m not certain that Marco is an introvert.  Doug, I don’t know if John is disappointed that he did not work with you earlier in his career or not, but I’m sure we can all agree that one coffee a day is plenty for Deen.  With all jest aside, these are just genuine and quite humble and purveyors of joy through music, one and all appreciative of what they can do for a living.  They just do what they do and leave nothing unspent when performing their craft, but in speaking with each band member in turn, there is an air of special excitement.

Models of humility they may very well be, but they are each also of tremendous musical experience and knowledge.  They experienced how naturally this album came together and I suspect they know what they have created.  I’m not sure how they can contain their excitement, but I’m eternally grateful that I do not have to follow in kind.  Burn It Down is a masterclass in rock brilliance, sure to be the pride of collections the world over.  The kind of album that you truly feel privileged and blessed to have experienced early, but uneasy with excitement waiting for the rest of the world to hear it too.

Bravura gentlemen.  Bravo.

You can pre-order Burn It Down here:  https://thedeaddaisies.lnk.to/BurnItDown