Review by Brian McGowan
Nominated for a Danish Grammy in its original year of release (2010) D.A.D.‘s Disneyland After Dark album, (in coded form, obviously) has now been reissued on a new label, AFM, as a Deluxe edition, which essentially means that a second disc – of acoustic tracks and live cuts – has been added. And if ever an album deserved a second shot at fame and fortune, this is it. It will elude both of course, these are not the days of rock’n’roll. Still, this album will make you wish they were.
Twelve tracks here and they’ve captured lightning in a bottle every time. There are no mediocre tracks, no good tracks either. Just great tracks. In fact some of these tracks are awesome, the remainder just plain great. You get my drift. Eleven albums in, the passage of time has done nothing to cloud the clarity of DAD’s musical vision. In fact, arguably, they have become even more focused, distilling their sound down to the essential ingredients of rock. Passionate, articulate, compelling.
Jesper Binzer’s scorched voice, pitched somewhere between Brian Johnson and Bob Marley, nails down every sensational song, at times becoming vaguely spiritual, such as in ‘Place Of The Heart’ and ‘We All Fall Down‘,at others, affecting a snarling, primal howl as on ‘The End’ and ‘Last Time In Neverland’. Even the more immediate tracks, ‘I Want What She’s Got’ and ‘Drag Me To The Curb’ have a bubbling, intense sense of drama, driven by seismic riffs, and the heavy rhythmic whomp of a pugnacious bass and detonating drumbeats.
The song writing too has unquestionably reached a new peak. ‘Breaking Them Heart By Heart’ and ‘A New Age Moving In’ have remarkably sustained melodies and song structures, both (in fact, as with all tracks here) gilded by Jacob Binzer’s apparently intuitive axe soling – simple, poised and often quite beautifully melodic, cleverly counter pointing the steel reinforced rhythms. And it’s that melodic flair, in an axe solo, a verse, a chorus – the album is littered with aurally adhesive hooks – that elevates the album head and shoulders above anything their peers are producing right now. That notion culminates in the slow, sensual, cheek to cheek dance floor ballad, ‘Your Lips Are Sealed’, the album’s last and – you could argue – its standout track. In fact, it’s just one of many.
he second disc has five breathtakingly powerful acoustic versions of songs on Disc 1, jawdroppingly Dylanesque at times, plus nine live tracks, including big songs from the back catalogue; a biting, driving version of‘ Monster Philosophy’, a blazing ‘Everything Glows’ and a stomping ‘Jihad’.
No question. Buy this album. Sell your car, your house, whatever. This is the one.
10 out of 10
- A New Age Moving In
- I Want What She’s Got
- The End
- Fast On Wheels
- The Place Of The Heart
- Last Time In Neverland
- Breaking Them Heart By Heart
- We All Fall Down
- Wild Thing In The Woods
- Can’t Explain What It Means
- Drag Me To The Curb
- Your Lips Are Sealed
- I Want What She’s Got (acoustic)
- The End (acoustic)
- A New Age Moving In (acoustic)
- Last Time In Neverland (acoustic)
- The Place Of The Heart (acoustic)
- A New Age Moving In (Live)
- Jihad (Live)
- The End (Live)
- Everything Glows (Live)
- Ridin With Sue (Live)
- Monster Philosophy (Live)
- We All Fall Down (Live)
- Last Time In Neverland (Live)
- The Place Of The Heart (Live)