B-Mac Album Review: The Dead Daisies, Holy Ground

Photo by Fiaz Farrelly

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy

David Lowy is the son of Australian billionaire businessman Frank Lowy and he runs his family’s investment firm LFG (Lowy Family Group). Not only is he a successful businessman, but he is also an accomplished aviator and, more importantly, is well-established hard rock guitarist. Rock ‘n’ roll for him is not just a passion, but also a third career. In 2013, he put together a revolving all-star supergroup called the Dead Daisies. The who’s who of rock musicians have come to make sensational music with Lowy, from Mötley Crüe’s John Corabi to Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed. After 4 albums in the can, the Dead Daisies have return to bring wild rock energy to 2021 with Holy Ground. Fronting the group this time around is Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame bassist/lead vocalist Glenn Hughes. As soon as I heard the Voice of Rock ‘N’ Roll joined the Dead Daisies, I just had to hear this group for myself.

We start things off with the title track, “Holy Ground (Shake The Memory).” Hughes’ voice is still very soulful as it was in his heyday with Trapeze and Deep Purple. Lowy performs some infectious riffs, while lead player Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Burning Rain) wails out a tenacious solo. This song gets one’s attention, previewing for what is to come. “Like No Other (Bassline)” is white hot with its crunchy guitar licks. Not only does Hughes peaks on the vocals, but he showcases his bass playing skills that has an old flavor. I know it is only the 2nd track, but this is by far the best track off the record. “Come Alive” brings 70s hard rock allure to 2021. Drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Bad English) keeps the beat simple, but it sounds very impelling. Lowy and Aldrich play off each other perfectly with their weapons of rock. We now approach “Bustle and Flow.” The beat has that classic Aerosmith swag with a touch of that Sammy Hagar party vibe. The bluesy bass riff goes with Aldrich’s supercharged solo very well. Lowy throws in this squeal after the solo, and I thought that was a nice touch.

Photo by Fiaz Farrelly

“My Fate” is another personal favorite of mine. The whole vibe of the song sounds very much like Soundgarden. Hughes gets down and dirty with his voice, adding some grungy blues in there. Aldrich and Lowy are like Kim Thayil and Jerry Cantrell in this song. Reminds me why 90s hard rock was amazing to me. “Chosen and Justified” is full of traditional rock cockiness that Bad Company proudly displayed. The drawn-out, scorching guitar work is the stuff only legends can create. Full of hip swagger, the Dead Daisies know they created something special with this tune. Halfway through, and we reach “Saving Grace.” This is a song that is full of gospel soul where Hughes can open the Gates of Heaven with is impeccable vocals. Hughes and Castronovo groove beautifully on the melody. In “Unspoken,” Castronovo kicks it into high gear with a stellar drum fill. This is the first single as it debuted in 2020, and it is very heavily driven by guitar power. Hughes smolders on a brief but impactful bass solo, while Aldrich sears a killer lead solo.

“30 Days in the Hole” pays homage to the heavy, boogie rock group Humble Pie. I am too familiar with that group, but after hearing this awesome cover, it convinced me to check them out more. The Dead Daisies took this 70s classic rock and gave it a polished modern look. Aldrich and Castronovo were electrifying together as they provide passionate backing vocals to go along with Hughes’ poignant voice. “Righteous Days” was the first song these 4 guys wrote together back in 2019, and while listening to it, you could tell that chemistry was potent. I was keen on the bridge guitar breakdown as it helped build the momentum for the Aldrich’s solo. Hearing Hughes singing on this tune, I know why he belongs with these guys. We conclude Holy Ground with the 7-minute epic “Far Away.” In this ballad, we hear Hughes refraining his voice more, which I found to be admiring for the tune. Halfway through the song, the violins that are featured go postal as Aldrich sets his solos ablaze. As we get closer to the end, Hughes passionately screams to the top of his voice, driving the song home.

The Dead Daisies guide us to holy grounds where we appreciate and love the music they create. Holy Ground has an old-school hard rock feel mixed with some modern sounds. Between the gorgeous 70s swag and the virtuous 90s attitude, the Dead Daisies have it all. Lowy is stellar guitarist in his own right and Thank God for him loving this music as much as I do. Once the pandemic passes by, I will enter the holy ground looking to burn the scene down with these guys. To the Dead Daisies, I salute you. Horns up!!!

9.5/10

Track Listing:

Holy Ground (Shake The Memory)
Like No Other (Bassline)
Come Alive
Bustle And Flow
My Fate
Chosen And Justified
Saving Grace
Unspoken
30 Days In The Hole
Righteous Days
Far Away

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