Album Reviews

The Dead Daisies – ‘Holy Ground’

Before discussing Holy Ground, the 5th album of all-star rock outfit The Dead Daises, let’s consider the state of rock in 2021.

Rock is Alive

Despite claims to the contrary rock, like Paul McCartney, is not dead but very much alive. According to a 2020 report published by MRC Data, rock is the second most listened to genre of music in the world. When it comes to new material, at least the kind reaching a mass audience, rock’s landscape looks a little less inviting. MRC Data revealed rock’s most listened to albums in 2020 were Queen’s 1981 compilation Greatest Hits, Elton John’s 2016 best-of Diamonds, Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 chart topper Rumours, Creedance Clearwater Revival’s Chronicle: The Greatest Hits and Journey’s Greatest Hits.

Fallen Heros and Hard Times

Many of rock’s most celebrated icons did not live past 27. Others, like John Lennon, were taken before their time. In 2020 the world said goodbye to greats Little Richard and Eddie Van Halen. Ozzy Osbourne was revealed to be fighting to reclaim good health. Rolling Stone Keith Richards shared he had not drunk in two years. It seems that now even rock’s greatest survivors are moving closer toward the end of their journeys.

For the rock greats not yet ready to exit stage, touring is currently suspended due to the international outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, many of the genre’s biggest stars are withholding new material. Others are simply cashing out. Casting an eye to retirement and “estate planning”, Bob Dylan recently bid farewell to ownership to some of rock’s most beloved songs to a sum rumoured to be as much as $400 million dollars.

Saviours of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Does this sound like rock? The music that captured the imaginations of millions of fans? The rebellious music which unified generations? Looking at rock from the top-down paints a troubling picture. One might be left asking where the vitality left at all.

Fear not. It is not all bad news. Amidst all of rock’s calamites and stifling pre-occupations with its own past, The Dead Daises’ Holy Ground is a welcome blast from the present.

Who Are The Dead Daises?

The Dead Daises are an all-star band. The group’s lineup has been made up of musicians associated with Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy, INXS, the Cult, Whitesnake, Nine Inch Nails, Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones. Membership is fluid. It is a collective configuration which mutates between releases. The Dead Dasies’ current roster includes Glenn Hughes, Doug Aldrich, Dean Castronovo, and David Lowy.

The Dead Daisies were founded in 2013. The same year they released Man Overboard. The EP was well received and notably included a guest appearance form legendary guitarist Slash. The Dead Daises have since built a large following in Europe, South America and across the globe. An in demand supporting act, they have opened for Bad Company, Kiss, Def Leppard and Australia’s Jimmy Barnes on tour.

Holy Ground

Holy Ground arrives as The Dead Daises 5th release. This record speaks to the vitality of rock. These artists making records with passion.

Deep Purple and Black Sabbath veteran Glenn Hughes takes lead on vocals. Hughes is a wailer in the ‘70s metal tradition. At 68, he’s no croaker. In fact, he’s surprisingly agile. You can hear the intensity of his feeling.

As the album’s title track makes clear this is pure, heavy and unrelenting rock. The Dead Daises deliver a hard rock meets heavy metal sound with a modern sheen. Genre fans will find themselves in welcome territory.

Comfort in Troubled Times

For true believers, rock’s hallowed mission is bringing people together and filling their minds with new possibilities. It offers respite from troubled times. In this regard, Holy Ground is more than capable of taking some of that pain, confusion and fear of modern life away with thunderous rhythms, sweeping vocals and colossal riffs. Or, as Bob Dylan once put it, take you disappearing through the smoke rings of your mind.

As The Dead Daises Glenn Hughes has said in past, “Love is the answer and music is the healer. Let’s rock ‘n’ roll together.” To which John Lennon might have added love is not only the answer, but the flower. You’ve got to let it grow. This, however, may be entering into too far if a lofty discission of the matter at hand. One does not need to understand a rock record, simply enjoy it. Or, as Chuck Berry once put it so succinctly, to let it rock.

‘Holy Ground’ the album is out now and you can find it here.

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