Reviews roundup – The Dead Daisies vs. King of the North vs. Ramin Karimloo
THE DEAD DAISIES
Make Some Noise
Spitfire Music / SPV
Most supergroups are considerably less than the sum of its parts. But it’s beginning to look like The Dead Daisies are going to be the exception to the rule.
They’ve managed to thole numerous lineup changes, with the latest version comprising Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne Foreigner) – drums, David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink) – guitars, John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream) – vocals, Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) – guitars and Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) – bass. Only Lowy is left from the early days, but this third album sees them firing on all cylinders.
For sure, it’s a wee bit old fashioned in its eighties power rock mode, so the kids may not get it. But the band are absolutely raging on a set of (largely) great songs. The opening “Long Way To Go” is one of the best tunes the respective members have been involved in with Corabi in his finest form since the days of “Man In The Moon”. He sings like his life depends on it. The rest of the band hit the right note all the time, with a handful of classic rock anthems for your listening pleasure, including the likes of “We All Fall Down” and the title track.
It loses some focus after the Creedence cover, but with a fabulous production courtesy of Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry), this is The Dead Daisies making a play for the bug time.
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KING OF THE NORTH
Get Out Of Your World
Rodeostar / SPV
Well that’s just careless. Losing 50% of your band between your first and second albums. Mind you, when there are only two people in the band it’s probably more likely you’ll fall out. So the second album from King of the North sees drums played by either Danny Leo or Lucius Borich (on “Burn”).
Of course you can’t get much further South than King of the North, what with them coming from the mythical continent of Australasia but it’s good to know they’re continuing the tradition of loud, in your face, rock and roll.
Because that’s what you’re getting here from singer / guitarist Andrew Higgs who uses a unique, self-developed, innovatory three-from-one guitar pedal which triples the input signal and playing options of his guitar, creating the bass, lead and rhythm sounds all at the same time. Smart arse.
And it’s a fine noise, as it mixes up blues rock, stoner, some eighties rock and even a hint of metal on the likes of “Rise”, the title track, “Burn” and “Hard Wired for Hard Times”. The music has a cowboy swagger to it, which makes you want to riff along. Save a misconceived cover of the Jimi Hendrix song “Manic Depression”, this is a riff heavy, beast of an album that’s well worth hearing.
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The Road To Find Out: South – The Brooklyn Sessions
A couple of years down the line from East, and West End / Broadway star Ramin Karimloo is back with the second of his bluegrass meets jazzhands offering. Or Broadgrass as he’s named it.
It follows the same pattern as the first EP, with some original songs nestled up close to reinterpretations of classic show tunes. It leads with two really enjoyable original songs before an excellent adaptation of “Edelweiss” arrives. The third original is a bit on the dull side but the closing version of “Old Man River” is really dreadful, as it sucks the pathos out of the original.
But the opening trio of numbers, especially the opening “Wings” reaffirms that Mr Karimloo has a lot to offer in his chosen field. Even if it is a field of one!