Being together as a band for almost 40 years now – I guess it’s safe to say that D-A-D would have to be very comfortable in their own skins to have survived quite so long.
It’s hardly surprising then that ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ the band’s first new studio record in eight years is grounded in this ethos, the band having graduated from their humble Disneyland After Dark cow-punk beginnings into major label arena rock contenders who then, through their own hard work and helpyourselfishness, managed to survive the onset of grunge when most hard rockers perished through to eventually becoming the band they are today and have been since the release of ‘Everything Glows’ back in 2000. An album which coincidently not only saw the band change their name to D-A-D but also saw the band’s newest member Laust Sonne join the core trio of the band (singer/guitarist Jesper Binzer, bassist Stig Pedersen and guitarist Jacob Binzer) behind the drum kit.
So, what does almost two decades of being (this version of) D-A-D actually sound like?
Well, remember those days when new albums by the likes of Aerosmith and AC/DC used to leave you thrilled and wanting more? That’s instantly how I felt about ‘A Prayer For The Loud’, as both those hard rock giants sprung to mind during the first couple of spins, but of course this is always going to be a D-A-D record what with the instantly recognisable rich and raspy vocal tones of Jesper Binzer ever present and ready to strike.
Of the eleven new cuts on offer here at least nine of them are total bangers, pure four to the floor rock n roll music, with even glimpses of the mighty Gluecifer and The Cult (circa ‘Electric’/’Sonic Temple’) creeping into the mix during the simply immense ‘The Real Me’.
The album itself gets off to a blazing start with ‘Burning Star’ and the throbbing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ and I challenge anyone to listen to either of these tracks and not draw an immediate arc back to the band’s commercial peak (here in the UK) of ‘No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims’ and ‘Riskin’ It All’, two albums that any connoisseur of quality guitar-driven rock music will have had in their collections for decades now.
Elsewhere with ‘Musical Chairs’ which crops up just past the halfway mark, the guys have written the song Airbourne have been searching for since they floundered for a sound to take them to the next level, whilst ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ and ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’ are the perfect soundtrack for top-down summer driving.
Of the two slower moments on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ album closer ‘If The World Just’ is my preferred choice over ‘A Drug For The Heart’ purely because the latter sails a little too close to a certain Backyard Babies track for its own good, albeit with Jesper at the mic this is much more Aerosmith than Social Distortion ballad territory.
Kudos must also be given here to the production team of Nick Foss and Rune Nissen Petersen who have taken heavy hitters like ‘No Doubt About It’, ‘Time Is A Train’ and ‘Happy Days In Hell’ and given then an enormous sound that instantly fills your head with rock ‘n’ roll melodies that will live with you for days, no make that years, to come.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m so surprised by how amazing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ is because D-A-D have always produced quality albums, it’s just this one is right up there with their very best work and is as a said at the beginning of this review the sound of a band very comfortable in their own skins.
Hands down this is the best classic/traditional (label it what you will) album I’ve heard in 2019.
Author: Johnny Hayward
Buy ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ Here