Dead Day Revolution is a band from Los Angeles. They have an LP out titled, “On Our Own.” The trio looks like your average tattooed dudes who might repair bikes for a living. But their album, produced by Larry Goetz, has a vibe that could be summed up as ‘We are ghoul rockers.’ Lots of references to being afraid of the sunlight, it seems. But the vocals are strong enough to pull it off. It’s not corny like Wednesday 13. “Wait,” for example, seems to have a strong Echo and the Bunnymen influence. It definitely made me think of “The Killing Moon.” And that’s never a bad thing.
Fuck. With this paragraph break I thought I would be onto another song of theirs. Nope. Playing “Wait” again. Their other tunes are hit-or-miss for me but this one has some soul in Mike Sandoz’ pipes. He is channeling something far more emotional than the mere ‘morbidity is our wheelhouse’ shtick would suggest. (No, the band never said that quote. But I like to imagine that they put it on their resumes.) In contrast to the tough guy rock and roll bravado that pervades their other songs, “Wait” has the quality of desperate sincerity, like that of a man down on his knees praying to a god he may not even believe in. It’s a hand reaching out into the darkness, hoping that something reaches back. For me, it is their greatest moment.
Okay, so now that I got “Wait” out of my system, a few of their other songs:
On DDR’s Soundcloud page I listened to a live version of their song “Lonely Lady.” It evoked The Cult’s glory days but with Sandoz putting his own vocal twist on that proven classic rock sound. But it pales in comparison to “Vampyre Blues” which is perhaps their catchiest tune with a chorus of “Run, run, run, before I see the sun.”
You would probably think that my biggest gripe with Dead Day Revolution might be the campy nature of the lyrics. You would be wrong. As I played this song a second time, it conjured up an imagine of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s bleached blond Spike. The cheeky leather-jacketed bloodsucker was driving a convertible while blasting Dead Day Revolution. Why? Most likely because I’ve been spending too much time on Netflix. Or perhaps the music supervisor of my daydreams realizes that DDR writes songs for monsters who have a taste for fun and not for those who take their evil too seriously. No, “Vampyre Blues” is not for the Nosferatu crowd.
The amped up studio version of this song (on their ReverbNation page) makes the best use of drummer Skeeter Joplin’s popping snare and Cristian Sturba’s driving bass. But it‘s worth mentioning, for the sake of variety, there is an acoustic sad bastard variation on Soundcloud for all your existential staring into the abyss of a cup of black coffee at 2 am needs.
Anyway, back to what I was saying about the lyrics. No, their campy nature doesn’t bother me. I can’t place my finger on why but, of all things, it’s the band’s name that fucking gripes me. So, I’m not crazy about the name. Big deal. If that’s the largest complaint I can muster up, then they must be doing their job well. Take “Bury My Soul,” for example. It was the first song of theirs that I clicked on and it instantly reminded me of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, another questionably named band I enjoy. There was a two hour long BRMC playlist I ran in the ground for a solid summer a few short years ago. Perhaps when Dead Day Revolution has another full length album out I will find myself running a playlist of theirs six feet into the ground too.