Label: Spitfire Music / SPV
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Reviewed by: Todd "Toddstar" Jolicoeur
Having been a big proponent of The Dead Daisies from their first release through their most recent disc and several live shows over the years, I couldn't wait to wrap my ears and eyes around this killer collection of tracks from the powerful band of musicians as recorded on their Make Some Noise Tour. The DVD truly has a ton of backstage and onstage footage that will help any fan appreciate the band a little bit more, but the interviews and bits from each of the members really adds depth to the band and the music. Be sure to look for Doug's pick trick... which he actually does on stage quite a few times during each show! The CD of this is one for the collection. Disc opener "Long Way To Go" gets things off on the right foot with power, setting the pace and the bar for the rest of the collection. This song, as well as many others on the disc don't deviate too far from the original arrangements, but sonically demonstrates the sheer energy of this band as a live unit. "Mexico" - ironically recorded in Paris - also brings the same feel and groove as the original delivered, but the live mix seems heavier and more urgent. The thunderous bass lines really stand out on this version. "We All Fall Down" is a heavier track that Corabi explains is one of the bands favorites. The guitars are solid, the lead vocals are crisp, the rhythm section is locked in, but the background vocals makes the track as do the guitar solos. "Join Together" is an interesting cover of the Townsend penned track. The version recorded in London opens with Aldrich doing a solo utilizing a Talk Box. The band is tight on this track, even when they seem to drift, deviate, and jam. "Helter Skelter" as recorded in Hamburg, Germany, is another amazing cover that gets star treatment from Corabi on vocals, with Mendoza and Tichy killing it from underneath on their bass and drums, respectively. Aldrich nails the solo at the bridge. This song definitely comes from near the end of the bands setlist, as they pull out all the stops and toss in jams, solos, and more.
"Make Some Noise" comes from Vienna (as introduced at the end of "Mexico") and this song brings all the fun and more from the disc of the same name. The drum intro gives us the tempo and once Corabi throws his vocals over top, we are off and running. The song benefits from strong guitars from both Lowy and Aldrich. Another song recorded in Paris, "Fortunate Son" gives us a glimpse into some of the bands influences and appreciation for various eras and genres of rock as they put a Daisies spin on the CCR classic. The layered vocals on the chorus is a nice compliment to the leads and the guitars woven throughout the track give this track an edge. "Lock 'N' Load" is a fun version of one of the oldest known Dead Daisies songs. You would never know Corabi didn't write the lyrics or vocal lines after listening to him throw himself into song. Aldrich plays guitar with precision and finesse... on a track co-written and originally played on by Slash. "Last Time I Saw The Sun" is one of my favorite Dead Daisies tracks. From the killer guitar solo opening to the top notch vocals from John Corabi. The song is one of the best song live... Brian Tichy's monster drum fills and Marco Mendoza's thunderous bass lines and the additional guitar prowess of David Lowy. Do not skip this song - as a matter of fact, be sure to play this one twice! "With You And I" reflects some of the bands positivity and outlook regarding the world today. The funk-driven track seems to take on another life in a live setting, with Mendoza's groove underneath the vocals and the different textures of the guitars, as does additional use of Aldrich's Talk Box. Introduced as 'the ballad from the record', "Mainline" comes through kicking down doors and shattering windows with breakneck speed and precision. The song marries the various rock sounds of the members of the band with some punk-infused energy that seems to take over.
"Song And A Prayer" is a very melodic track that incorporates chugging riffs and steady rhythm guitar and wraps them around a driving bottom end from Mendoza and Tichy. Once Corabi joins the mix and throws his vocals in for good measure, we get another of the strongest songs from not only the set, but the bands catalog. "Something I Said" is one of the slower and mellower tracks from the band, but by no means is it less driven than any other on the collection. This song really benefits from the smoky vocals of John Corabi and the tandem guitars. The background vocals add punch to the chorus and helps elevate this song from being a slow song that increases beer sales in a venue. Check out this bluesy rocker from start to finish before dismissing it as a ballad. "Band Intros" is an interesting piece that blends the monotonous procedure of allowing each member to take their turn in the sun, so to speak. From the moment corabi asks if he has new friends in Vienna, we know we are getting a twist and variation of normal band intros. As he introduces he member of the band they get their own moment to shine... Aussie Lowy plays a bit of "Highway To Hell"... Mendoza plays and sings the first verse of "Lowrider" as well as tossing some scat vocals into the mix... Aldrich knocks around a cool version of "Voodoo Chile"... drummer Tichy kick starts his portion with "Living After Midnight"... and Corabi is introduced to the strands of "Walk This Way." Closing out the disc, the Daisies lean into other bands catalogs and deliver a one-two punch of killer covers. Grand Funk's "American Band" stays true to the original, but these guys add a rock punch without making this a cheesy rip-off. The drums, guitars, and bass all swirl in the mix and give the lofty vocals a great place to land. One of my favorite covers (loved it when Britny Fox covered it years ago) is "Midnight Moses" which the band recorded for one of their CDs. This song has awesome drumming and bass to support it while the chugging riffs drive the song from open to close. While not a Dead Daisies original, this song encapsulates the groove, vibe, and style of this band to the letter... allowing each member to show off their strengths without casting shadows over each other.
CD Tracklisting: Long Way To Go - Mexico - Make Some Noise - Song And A Prayer - Fortunate Son - We All Fall Down - Lock 'N' Load - Something I Said - Last Time I Saw The Sun - Join Together - With You And I - Band Intros - Mainline - Helter Skelter - American Band - Midnight Moses
DVD Tracklisting: Behind The Scenes of Live & Louder
Band: Doug Aldrich (Guitars) - John Corabi (Vocals) - David Lowy (Guitars) - Marco Mendoza (Bass) - Brian Tichy (Drums)
THE DEAD DAISIES LINKS: