Review by Greg Maki
In the here today, gone a little later today music business of the 21st century, there is perhaps nothing more important than momentum. Acquiring it—and even more so, sustaining it—is everything. The Dead Daisies have been picking up steam steadily since vocalist John Corabi (The Scream, Mötley Crüe, Union) joined the band in 2015 and got an extra boost in 2016 when Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) stepped in on lead guitar. As they’ve tightened and toughened their classic hard rock sound, their prolific output has included the studio releases “Revolucion” (2015) and “Make Some Noise” (2016), the live record “Live & Louder” (2017) and multiple globe-spanning tours. Continuing to strike while the iron is hot, the Daisies are back with their fourth studio record, “Burn It Down,” which might be their best yet.
Written, recorded, mixed and mastered in a period of just over a month in late 2017, “Burn It Down” continues in the heavier direction of “Make Some Noise” and captures the raw rock ‘n’ roll energy and vibe the Daisies bring to the stage, with massive, stadium-shaking riffs and rhythms, courtesy of bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy), new drummer Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Journey) and rhythm guitarist David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink). With that foundation, Corabi remains one of the most powerful voices in rock music today, and Aldrich continues to be among the more underrated lead players around.
This record is so strong from top to bottom that picking out favorite songs is a near impossible task. If I have to, I’ll go with the opener “Resurrected,” with its dramatic, orchestrated climax; the ultra-bluesy title track; and “What Goes Around” and “Dead and Gone,” each sporting a riff that’s absolute fire. Unlike the previous album, there is a ballad here in “Set Me Free,” slotted in nicely toward the middle and giving your ears a bit of a break before the Daisies crank it back up to 11 for the remainder of the record. A cover of The Rolling Stones classic “Bitch” precedes the ballad, and its nasty riff—given a slightly meatier treatment here—is a perfect fit alongside the Daisies’ anthemic originals.
The Dead Daisies play the kind of music that seemingly ruled all back in the 1970s and ‘80s but is increasingly hard to find nowadays. That just makes “Burn It Down” shine all the brighter, a beaming hard rock beacon and a defiant statement that, even though you might have to look a little harder for it, rock ‘n’ roll isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
(Spitfire Music/SPV, April 6, 2018)