The Dead Daisies is one of the latest indie band groups to enter the public consciousness, formed by members of some of the highest echelons of classic rock-and-roll. In the case of the band itself, this entails the membership of Deep Purple’s Glenn David Lowy on vocals, Journey’s Deen Castronovo on drums, and Whitesnake and Dio’s Doug Aldrich on guitar. The result? Pure, throwback heaven.
The group’s latest single, ‘Holy Ground (Shake The Memory)’ is a decidedly anti-PC, anti-establishment, and anti-religion pop-rock ballad, the music video depicting all three men silhouetted against the backdrop of a hellish and dystopian landscape. Keep inside of me, can’t shake the memory on holy ground, he proclaims – riffing on a newly polished, silver electric guitar. Castronovo attacks the drums, Aldrich miming the frenetic movements of a one Marilyn Manson or Alice Cooper whom the entire group seems to owe their theatrical inspirations to.
Much like the companion group The Hollywood Vampires (consisting of legends Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, and Joe Perry), the bands are decidedly budgeted, and utilize the aid of music festivals instead of stadiums and independent labels instead of Geffen Records. They sport an unusual craft at emulating the past in technically proficient, contemporary form. Indeed in the case of ‘Holy Ground’, the single feels like a piece of the 80s back when rock classics were played for the first time, the original prints not gathering dust or begging for a remaster.
The sound is crisp and clear, yet devoid of any electronically manipulated vocals or instruments. In spite of the advantages of modern technology, The Dead Daisies are interested in keeping the crux of their musical approach pure. For ears used to the slick, computer-generated tempos of dubstep, contemporary disco, rap, and even some forms of alternative there’s a distinctive evocation the former lacks. An invitation to experience someone else’s blood, sweat, and tears by the way a guitar is strummed, a voice cracks, or a drum ever so slightly misses a beat. It’s the working flaws that make the music three-dimensional and in effect records from the past still so highly sought after.
The one contradiction to the otherwise pristine rock formula is The Dead Daisies’ choice to mitigate any excessive profanity or anti-religious propaganda. Clearly the crew isn’t interested in sporting controversy, nor in offending the potential new audience discovering their work for the first time. But a small caveat such as dialing back offensive and taboo content can be forgiven in the face of ‘Holy Ground’’s collective whole. The intensity purrs, the production design is edgy, and putting it colloquially – both the song and the video flat-out…well…rock.
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