We are all familiar with the outward cringe effect we all get when we hear about a “supergroup” or a side project from a musician who has reached the stratosphere as part of a band. You know the “oh god, Tommy Shaw and Nugent are getting back together??” moment. But we should also admit that deep down we are quite interested to hear the sound. Well what if the so called “supergroup” were made up of people with ties to INXS, Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy, Psychedelic Furs, Mink and Ozzy Osbourne?
Not so “Wango-Tango-Mr-Roboto” is it?
The Dead Daisies are led by New Zealander Jon Stevens (who fronted INXS post-Hutchence) with a booming vocal triumph that got me out of my seat and moving the moment he belted out “You say three little words/that mean everything.” But I was kept on my toes as Mink and Red Phoenix’s David Lowy riles up the guitar to back lead guitarist Richard Fortus’ (of Psychedelic Furs and now Thin Lizzy fame) expansive and riotous licks in a combined whirlwind force. This is all driven home by rhythm section which is built on the seasoned skills of bands like Whitesnake and Lynch Mob via Marco Mendoza’s bass and skins from Brian Tichy who has sat for Ozzy and Foreigner. And last but not least, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (via Guns N’ Roses) inductee, Dizzy Reed strikes up the keys in the most badass way a keyboardist could possibly do so. Collectively, this is hardly something to follow suit with bad 80’s rock.
But aside from the stardom that precedes this sextet, there is a distinctively non-denim-trench coat feeling about their four tracks. From barroom jukebox style (“Angel In Your Eyes”) to American Rock Anthem pounding in your ears (“Your Karma”) to Hotrod cruising glory (“Face I Love”) through their raw take on “Helter Skelter” the Modern Classic Rock (think about that one) that bleeds from this wall of sound EP is full of life and will instantly make you recall the glory of rock. This isn’t some shameless collection of aging musicians grasping at anything they can to be relevant again. This is passion bottled up and distributed indiscriminately to the masses. Rock is back baby and The Dead Daisies have the wheel!
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. He love Cheez-Its, the Portland Timbers and Music Supergroups.