Fireworks

The Dead Daisies - 'Live & Louder' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 15, 2018    
 
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A good value package from a band that keeps on winning people over.

The last time I reviewed a record from The Dead Daisies it was 'Revolución', their first with John Corabi, who replaced original singer Jon Stevens. I stated while it was a good Rock record, I found Corabi's gravelly tones much less palatable to my tastes than the higher, cleaner style of his predecessor. I also made no secret of the fact I was a huge fan of Stevens and he was the reason I checked out the band in the first place.

Despite my misgivings, I seem to be in the minority as TDD have enjoyed a higher profile since Corabi's arrival, playing to a growing fan base for their "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to Classic Rock. 'Make Some Noise' (2016) was bolstered by the arrival of ex-Whitesnake hotshot Doug Aldrich and this is the group's first live album, recorded at a variety of locations, but mixed to sound like one cohesive show.

Kicking off with 'Long Way To Go', it's clear that the album has not been overly polished, with a sharp, clear sound – Brian Tichy's drums are loud, Marco Mendoza's bass throbs, the guitars from Aldrich and sole founding member David Lowy crunch and Corabi barks through the mix while the crowd cheers on. The excellent 'Mexico', my favourite from the Corabi era, works very well, as does the title track from the aforementioned '...Noise' record.

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The Daisies are no strangers to cover versions, the two featured on their last album appear here, namely a solid rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revivals's 'Fortunate Son' (where Corabi actually sounds throatier than John Fogerty did) and The Who's 'Join Together', which I felt was a bit laboured. The take on Grand Funk Railroad's 'We're An American Band' is faithful to the original and the top drawer rendition of concert finale 'Midnight Moses' works just as well live as it did on record.

The band also perform 'Helter Skelter', which was previously recorded with Stevens on vocals on the 'Face I Love' EP, and deliver one original from the Stevens era in the shape of the memorable 'Lock 'N' Load'. For me, while I'm pleased the early stuff is represented in the set, Stevens beats Corabi's attempts all ends up on both tracks, particularly on '...Load' where Corabi rasps out the hook with more gravel than there is on my neighbour's drive, falling a long way short of how Stevens sang it.

Nevertheless, other people seem to be less fussy about the vocal phrasings, or maybe they have discovered the band after Stevens had already gone and are therefore not making any comparisons. If you enjoy the Corabi-era albums, then there will be little, if anything here you won't like. It's also worth noting those who prefer the physical format, the CD edition comes with a bonus DVD that features a forty minute documentary looking back at The Dead Daisies last twelve months, recaps from some of their jaunts – including the Kiss Kruise – and a selection of music videos. All in all, a good value package from a band that keeps on winning people over.

James Gaden

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