If you like proper rock ’n’ roll, something in the mode of AC/DC, Bad Company, Aerosmith etc., you will probably have a passing interest in this incredible band. But the long road to recording this masterwork of rock has been tumultuous to say the least.
The Dead Daisies were formed in Australia in 2012 when a meeting was arranged between Jon Stevens (vocals.), Richard Fortus (lead guitar) and David Lowy (rhythm guitar). Since then, twenty-one musicians have been part of the band, many of them twice or more. Only David Lowy has been there since the start, and even he missed out for a while in 2014. So it has been a very liquid lineup to say the least. In fact they have made the drum stool position in Spinal Tap look very secure by comparison.
The early promise and high profile of Dead Daisies gained them supporting roles with the likes of ZZ Top and Aerosmith in 2013, and then in 2014 the Bad Company/Lynyrd Skynyrd tour followed by a supporting act to Kiss and Def Leppard. Whilst all this was going on they announced themselves to the music buying public by releasing two albums – “Dead Daisies” in 2013, and then “Revolocion” in 2015.
There have been some class musicians riding on the back of the Daisies over the last couple of years: John Tepesta (The Cult), Frank Ferrer and Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), and Alex Carapetis (Nine Inch Nails) to name but a few. But when the call to reform Guns N’ Roses came in early 2016, Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus ditched the Daisies to chase the American dollar. By this time founder member Jon Stevens had already been replaced by the high profile John Corabi in 2015, who himself knew a thing or two about being stabbed in the back and rock ’n’ roll politics from his time in Motley Crue.
So the Daisies were in somewhat of a crisis in the early days of 2016 with no lead guitarist and no keyboard player. This problem was quickly solved however as drummer Brian Tichy had been in Whitesnake with Doug Aldrich. So the two ex-bandmates got back together and it was decided that to play the sort of music they wanted, keyboards really were not necessary. At that point the present five-piece was ready to be rolled out into the flower bed.
If experience was everything in the world of rock ’n’ roll, the Dead Daisies would be top of the tree already. Tichy, Mendoza, and Aldrich have all been in Whitesnake, John Corabi spent a very sharp learning curve with Motely Crue, and David Lowry not only looks the part but at a pinch can also fly the band’s airplane.
So with the past firmly behind them, this new five-piece band set out on the road to fame and fortune. They were gigging constantly all last year – in fact the day that I saw them they were playing an afternoon concert at The Ramblin’ Man Fair and then immediately packing up the gear to go and play another gig the same evening. There is no doubting their enthusiasm.
In between gigs they have recorded this line up’s debut album “Make Some Noise”. This collection of rockers breaks out of your speakers and grabs you by your musical throat. There is no doubting the band’s musical intent. You could say it’s old style rock ’n’ roll from the Eighties and Nineties. But what is wrong with that?
Marco Mendoza, David Lowy and Brian Tichy have already locked down into one of the heaviest rhythm sections in the present game. This gives plenty of room for John Corabi to express himself as the lead vocalist whilst Doug Aldrich never misses an opportunity to flash the axe and shred the fret board.
There are nine original tracks on the album, opening with the he catchy “Long Way to Go” (let’s hope this title is a good omen for the band). Doug Aldrich’s guitar sound is clear and obviously at home whilst the rhythm section pours sugar into your head and Jon Corabi is the perfect flag bearer, singing with his razor sharp vocals and clever lyrics.
If you are looking for ballads you’re clean out of luck with this album. It has one intent, and that is to rock your brain. Perhaps the pick of the originals are “Mainline” and “Freedom”, whilst the title track harks back to the days of glam rock, with its keen drum sound and loud chorus, plus a belting Doug Aldrich solo smacked right in the middle.
The two cover versions amongst the collection are well chosen and are given the Daisies treatment. “Fortunate Son”, originally by Credence Clearwater Revival, is given a fair share of added sparkle whilst (and I never thought I would say or hear this) the closing choice “Join Together” may actually be an improvement on The Who’s original version. It certainly rocks harder.
The Dead Daisies recently completed a double headliner tour with the top Irish band The Answer, covering the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. If they keep playing to the crowds and bring out another album as strong as this one, household name status cannot be far away. Sometimes it can be even better to get Dead Daisies than Guns N’ Roses.
Long Way To Go
We All Fall Down
Song and a Prayer
Make Some Noise
Last time I saw the Sun
Mine All Mine
How does it Feel
All the Same
Written By Hells Bells and Mott the Dog/Photos by Harpic Bryant.