Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
The London based five piece serve up a huge slice of awesomeness for album number two. They take the debut and build on it with all the grafted hours from the huge amount of touring since the first release.
The album opens with an intro that is simple, melodic and beautiful before bursting into “Masquerade”and those guitars we have become accustomed too. The pace has been picked up and we are handed an anthem right off the bat, big guitars, big choruses and a fierce track to open.
“Ravens Call” is a riff fest, we have an Iommi inspired monster twisted together with a Black Stone Cherry backbone. This is a heavy assed southern swamp infested bitch of a track. The breakdown will have all manner of classic bands run through your head and the multi layered chorus takes the band to all new heights.
The low guitar slung attitude continues on “Who I Am” and we take a slip-road to grunge territory. There is a feel of Creed and Audioslave here as we get the rising vocals and chugaboom guitars. Nico Rogers on vocals is very strong throughout and to me sounding the best we have ever heard him.
The boys are pretty damn good at a ballad as you will have witnessed via the tear jerker “Make me proud” and “do or Die” is no different. The slow build, the guitar solo perfection of Billy Kons and just a simple, stunning song. The difference in just one album is hear for all to see and hear. The boys songwriting has grown massively. The sound is spectacular and the composition is spot on.
We hit Scorpions territory on “Island of the Storm”. It goes from a peaceful opening to full on Schenker madness. This is your classic metal, harks back a few years but when a song is this good who gives a crap. I even had a few flashbacks to a band called Pretty Maids who I ws a massive fan of in the 80s.
“Fighting to Survive” opens with a sleazy, slithering riff and builds to another huge anthem with a chorus as big as the hair in the 80s. This would have been an MTV monster back in the day and this would have been a track that kicked a band into arenas back then. Regardless of the decade this is a beast of a song.
We go full on in “Diggin’ for Fame”, this album is all about the riffs and melodies and each and every song will get its hooks in you from the first listen. This is a young band laying waste to all in front of them and showing the new breed how to write some cathy ass kicking music.
James Titley sets the tone on bass in “What’s Your Name”. This is another cracking track with hooks all the way through. Everything is massive about this song and track after track the boys are knocking it out of the park. If I could take this song and drop it into another classic album without it losing a beat it would be Love/ Hate’s Blackout in the Red room.
“Closer to You” is another beautiful ballad, it ticks every single box tat the formula demands. Great lyrics, melodies, soft guitars and building to that singalong chorus.
Time for a big guitar and drum intro on “Time” and this is Rock in its purest form. You cannot ask for anything else from a band, it is like Dead Man’s Whiskey have found the devils book of how to suck in souls from writing music. The cohesion to each song is perfect, the tracks are powerful, the vocals are stunning and the feel good factor is off the scale.
In The Storm finishes with “Fear is Cold” and what a track to bow out on. We have another massive number that kicks off with a 70s vibe then breaks into a Paradise City swagger with Rock Beast written all over it.
Dead Man’s Whiskey have already staked a claim as one of the best new live bands on the circuit but with “In The Storm” they have ramped everything up to 11. This is Classic Rock with a Metal twist and 11 superb songs that everyone should hear and own.
It is an album that is classic with a decisively new twist and not only is it the best we have heard from Dead Man’s Whiskey it is up there with the best releases of 2023. An album not to be missed and to hear these songs in their best light make sure you buy a ticket to a show on the upcoming tour.
Sat 7th Oct 2023 – Boston Music Room, London UK
Sat 11th Nov 2023 – Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend UK
Sun 12th Nov 2023 – B2, Norwich UK
Tue 14th Nov 2023 – The Station, Cannock UK
Wed 15th Nov 2023 – The Cluny 2, Newcastle UK
Thur 16th Nov 2023 – Audio, Glasgow UK
Sat 18th Nov 2023 – Santiago, Leeds UK
Sun 19th Nov 2023 – The Waterloo, Blackpool UK
Wed 22nd Nov 2023 – Fuel, Cardiff UK
Thur 23rd Nov 2023 – Underground, Swindon UK
Fri 24th Nov 2023 – Zanzibar, Liverpool UK
Sat 25th Nov 2023 – Surburbia, Southampton UK
For further information deadmanswhiskey.co.uk/tour
For the latest show announcements and merch offers, head to deadmanswhiskey.co.uk
Dead Man’s Whiskey is
Nico Rogers / Vocals
Billy Kons / Lead Guitar
Elliott D’Alvarez / Rhythm Guitar
James Titley / Bass
Charlie Gray / Drums