Reviews roundup – Leroy Powell & The Messengers vs. Damn Dice vs. Darkness Light vs. The Scars Heal In Time
LEROY POWELL & THE MESSENGERS
The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation
He’s a cosmic cowboy, doncha know. He also says that this is “the greatest record ever recorded by anyone and of all time.” Which is some claim and may lead others to believe that his medication needs adjusting. However, it is a very good record indeed.
He’s been at this for ages, but first came to more prominent attention when he joined up with Shooter Jennings, playing guitar, arranging and songwriting. Since then he’s concentrated on the Messengers, releasing a couple of albums, and touring with the likes of Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. He then formed the Stone Jack Ballers, who toured with ZZ Top and Gretchen Wilson, before coming back to the Messengers.
And it’s still a mix of country, blues rock, seventies Grand Funk and more. Which means that the likes of ‘Time Flies’, ‘King Kong’ and ‘Lost In The Future’ make for some mighty fine listening. It’s the sort of thing that would go down a treat on tour with Jared James Nichols and Shawn James and the Shapeshifters. So, if someone can arrange that tour, then it would have classic written all over it.
He can slow the pace as well, so it’s not all balls to the wall, but whatever way he shakes it, it makes for a great album.
The Great Unknown
Time for some eighties influenced glam metal / sleaze rock, and it’s the debut album from London based band, Damn Dice.
They’ve been playing toilets across Europe for the last few years, supporting the likes of LA Guns, so these songs have been road tested, and it certainly shows, as they’ve got the riffs and choruses nailed. And if you were in any doubt as to where their rawk allegiances lie, they’ve even got songs called ‘Bang Your Head’ and ‘Rock (Like You Mean It)’. Oh, yes.
They’ve got the eighties arena vibe down pat, with sing a long choruses, catchy melodies and even the legally obligatory power ballad, in the shape of ‘Words’. For sure, they’re not going to change the world, but for those of us who grew up with music like this, it’s a mighty fine ride. Job done.
Living With The Danger
More melodic rock now, this time from German based Darkness Light. They’ve definitely got ambitions, and that is something to be lauded. They’ve got an eye on filling Eastern European football stadia, even if it does sound like this was recorded in someones bedroom.
But I admire ambition, even if I only recognise it in others, and they’ve got some promise. However, the aforementioned ambition seems to have got ahead of them, as they throw everything against the wall, with eighties hard rockers and big ballads, all dripping with orchestrations.
It might have been better, if they’d kept things a bit simpler, and I really would recommend getting a dedicated vocalist, as no matter how musically adept singer / bassist / keyboardist and guitarist Dixie Krauser is, he’s no singer. But keep on trying.
THE SCARS HEAL IN TIME
Time for some teenage angst now. And I’m sure I’m neither the first nor the last to point out the dangers in calling your band The Scars Heal In Time. But I’m sure it’s just another way for teenage sisters Kayla and Tayler Smith, (guitars / vocals and drums, respectively) to cock a snoot at The Man.
I’m sure they had a lot of Paramore posters on their walls when they formed the band five years ago when they were aged fourteen and eleven, and it’s that snotty attitude combined with some more Lavigne styled pop that they’re aiming for.
And I’m sure there are a lot of teenage girls out there looking for someone to shout loudly about the things that worry them. And there are a lot of teenage boys. Well, there are a lot of teenage boys. When they manage to get the hooks and riffs in the right place at the right time, it’s actually quite enjoyable. Even if I couldn’t be further from their target market. Aided and abetted by Judson Duncan on guitars and William Boyett on bass, there is enough here to suggest that with some better songs, they could be half way down the bill at ever skater fest for the next decade.