It takes more than having a batch of high-class musicians to make a real band. The problem with the Dead Daisies is that while you have to admire the performances from those individuals involved, what they desperately need are killer songs. As the album glides on, every track comes and goes, but makes little lasting impact.
There are times when it all comes close to succeeding, though. Mainline begins with a seismic collision of riffs that draws from Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and Montrose, but the excitement dissipates because the song never really opens up to take advantage of the initial foundation.
The same holds true for Long Way To Go. This has the momentum of Rose Tattoo meeting the Ramones, but it can’t ever get away from its influences. This happens time and again throughout the 12 songs. It’s as if, despite the obvious talent involved here, and the fact that this is the band’s third album, they’re prepared to settle for something that never reaches escape velocity.
You can hear this clearly on the title track, which comes over like an anthem belonging to the early-80s Quiet Riot catalogue. And therein lies another problem: the Dead Daisies never manage to get away from the implication that they’re recreating what others did so well three decades ago. In addition, their versions of both The Who’s Join Together and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son underline the band’s innate weakness: they have no personality of their own.
And therein lies the rub. Everyone here is too used to being a sideman in bands dominated by big personalities, from Whitesnake to Ozzy to Mötley Crüe. So, when bonded together, none of them shine through. Despite the clear-sighted talent of the musicians involved, you just want one bloody song to jump out and numb you with its rancour, passion and power. It never happens.
John Corabi does a sensible job on vocals. His guttural aptitude is worthy, but has no bite. The dual guitars of Doug Aldrich and David Lowy are never less than competent, but would you put them in the same dimension as Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, or Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham? No. What it all adds up to is a band who desperately need shaking up. If their aspiration is to compete with the giants then Make Some Noise isn’t good enough. It’s not bad, but then why would you ever settle for that?