Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dead Sara "Dead Sara"

Few bands can perfect and give rebirth to a genre, yet still sound completely original. An immediate past example would be Pearl Jam, who practically embodied a band that could have played in the 1970’s disguised as 90’s “grunge” 20-somethings. Another example would be Green Day incorporating many 1950’s and pre-Beatles 1960’s influence (and some post Beatles 60’s) in to more than a handful of their songs.

Most recently, there comes a band called Dead Sara; a band who sound like they could have not only made music in the early/mid 1990’s, but also could have competed with the Soundgardens and the Cranberries of the decade. At the same time, they completely compete with any rock band out today, sounding virtually nothing like any other popular recording rock band around.

With their eponymous debut (Released in April of 2012 in USA and November 2012 in Canada) Dead Sara pile on song after song after song of pure energy, emotion and talent. It is that rare album where barely any 2 songs sound the same.

Fronted by the vocal powerhouse that is Emily Armstrong, of whom, like so many great female singers, has a voice like absolutely no one else (refer to Lzzy Hale of Halestorm or Maria Brink of In This Moment to name very few of many examples). With what sounds like complete ease, Emily can go from a completely beautiful and melodic voice, and then change to an almost completely different person, with a voice almost as strong as a lot of male vocalists.

Her soft voice blossoms on songs such as Dear Love, Face To Face and ESPECIALLY the albums final track Sorry For It All. The polar opposite to these songs however would be Monumental Holiday and I Said You Were Lucky, both songs make your vocal chords bleed by just thinking of attempting to sing them.

Bass player Chris Null does what so few bass players can say they’ve done on an alternative rock album, and that is the fact that he stands out flawlessly on every song, which is why he gets a spotlight in this review. His bass playing is a key part in the albums well placed opening track Whispers & Ashes and the mellow Face To Face. To help add to this dynamic rhythm section is drummer Sean Friday, a self taught drummer, and thank goodness he is because he bashes those skins in a way no instructor could ever teach!

Last but never least is Lead Guitarist Siouxsie Medley. This album would be nothing without her powerful psychedelic tone and too-good-to-be-new guitar riffs. Her guitar playing stands out on every single track. She may not shred the hell out of the six strings but you won’t even notice that until you’ve already fallen in love with her. Her riffs are what make songs such as We Are What You Say and Test On My Patience the upbeat motivational songs that they are. But it’s the heart pounding, practically delta blues track Timed Blues that her guitar playing comes out in absolute full swing. Would have made the late great Bukka White proud.

                                                                                ALBUM HIGHLIGHT

Weatherman” – The first single off of an album is usually curiously chosen. It’s often not even close to the best track off the album. In this case, however, the first single, Weatherman, does the best job of summing up the album in a nutshell. All 4 members come out swinging their instruments at full blast. With a killer guitar riff, a drum set that somehow manages to stay in one piece despite all the bashing, a bass riff that glues the song together and a singing/screaming match between Emily and herself, this is the first song every listener should check out.


9 (Out of 10)

Track List:
"Whispers & Ashes"  
"We Are What You Say"  
"Dear Love"  
"Monumental Holiday"  
"I Said You Were Lucky"  
"Face To Face"  
"Test On My Patience"  
"Timed Blues"  
"Lemon Scent"  
"Sorry For It All"  

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