Overall Score: 7.4/10 : 1/10 : 1/10 : 1/10 Pros: Cons:
I am a huge fan of metal without a doubt but before the growling and shredding came into my life I grew up on good old fashioned rock and roll. That was until everyone starting wearing flannel and hating life while drinking coffee. Since that time there hasn’t really been anything on the rock scene that has made me even give it a second thought. The only thing synonymous with rock and roll is fucking Nickelback. Since their inception every band after them has sounded just like fucking Nickelback. That is until now. Finally a band has come that isn’t Nickelback remade over again for the thousandth time. I give to you Taking fucking Dawn and their debut album with Roadrunner Records, Time To Burn.
Taking Dawn is four guys from Vegas who do one thing and they do very well, they rock the fuck out. The quartet consists of Chris Babbitt on vocals who shares shredding duties with Mikey Cross on guitar and Andrew Cushing provides the bass lines while Alan Doucette is the man behind the kit. When these four combine their abilities it produces the kick in the ass that the rock and roll world has needed for a long time.
TRACK BY TRACK
1. Time To Burn – This is the album’s title track and first single to be released. There is also a video for it here. This is one of the most infectious songs you will ever hear. Time to Burn is a new anthem to giving religion the middle finger and being a sinner never sounded so fucking sweet or felt so good. This was one of three tracks released on the EP last year to help promote the band while on tour. It was stuck in my head for months after hearing it and gets played regularly in my car.
Favorite Lyric – Your heroes are whores and your only god is you
2. Like A Revolution – The second song that was also included on the EP and rightfully so. The opening solo grabs you by the balls and throws you into your seat to prepare for the rest of the track. Fed up with the face of today’s music scene and the two-faced religious dogma spewed all over the place, this is Taking Dawn’s way of letting the world know that their savior’s are here and the world is going to be just a tad bit less shitty now. You just can’t help shaking your ass and pumping your fist to this track.
Favorite Lyric – The pop d’jour, a faceless whore and I can’t take it anymore
3. Take Me Away – The gritty vocals, guitars, and fast tempo make this one song that stays ingrained in your skull long after it has finished. What do you do when you find a smack fiend in an alley and you fall in love? You write a rock song about it and make it one of the best fucking rock and roll songs ever. This entire CD is sprinkled with classic rock/metal influences and this track showcases that Taking Dawn can take something done before and make it sound fresh and new all over again.
Favorite Lyric – She bites her lips and shuts her eyes and sings herself a lullaby
4. So Loud – We have all heard the adage that if it is too loud that you are too old. Taking Dawn has taken that simple statement and given it life with this track. This is a sweet little jam track that once again invokes the waving of the middle finger to people who don’t enjoy the rock and roll lifestyle. The drums on this track sound like the pistons of a hot rod revving up and getting ready to tear some shit up. Mixed with the sweet fretwork this is a simple song that is just a lot of fun to listen to.
Favorite Lyric – That’s right if it’s too loud then you’re too fucking old
5. Save Me – The ode to the bitch who broke someone’s heart. This track is based around that moment of realization that the bitch is gone and the person is now all on their own. If anyone has ever been dumped they have lived through this very moment. The topic is a personal one and I think that is why it made it on the album. It is a fair piece of music but not the best that taking Dawn has to offer.
Favorite Lyric – You should be just like me, broken like I used to be
6. Close Your Eyes – A much better composed piece based on the same bitch in the last track. This time we are at the brink of the breakup where everything becomes clear and the person simply wants their freedom. This ballad of heartache is done with style. The clean sound of the guitars with the passion of the vocals makes this a powerful track to listen to.
Favorite Lyric – No further than my fingertips yet further than can be
7. Godless – The third track that was included in the previously released EP. This is the product of listening to Iron Maiden while trying to write a love/hate song. It takes us through the good times, to the break up, right to the point of telling her to fuck off and no longer needing her sorry ass. I love the story telling aspect of the song and the way it is done with the music is fucking brilliant. Not the most rocking of tracks but makes up for it with the musicianship that went into making this song.
Favorite Lyric – Through all the years and twice the tears I’m just your empty shelf
8. Fight’Em With Your Rock – Yes, the title sounds cheesy as fuck and if any band were the inspiration for this song I am guessing it was Spinal Tap. With that being said, this track fucking rocks. Taking Dawn take everything that is good and holy about rock and roll and put in one little 3minute and 20 second package of pure awesomeness.
Favorite Lyric – Got that gunsmoke smother and there isn’t any other motherfucker with a side so wild
9. Never Enough – We pick back up with the bitch coming back and trying to smooth things over and then going back to being the bitch again. The ups and downs of emotions through a breakup is always a good basis for a rock song. The music that we are treated to with this installment is blend of fist pumping drums, dark bass and soaring guitars. This is such a sweet mixture of sounds as the story continues to be told. Kudos once again for artistic quality.
Favorite Lyric – But I don’t have a thing left to live on or to lose
10. Endlessly – The madness of not being able to get the bitch out of your head can be a tormenting as hell so Taking Dawn has taken that torment and turned into this little ditty about wishing nothing but the worst for your ex. Again, not a horrible track but not the best from Taking Dawn.
Favorite Lyric – I suffocate myself but I still drown in you
11. The Chain – This is Taking Dawn’s cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic and they do a damn fine job too. The dark edge that Taking Dawn gives the song brings it to life. I’m guessing this song was chosen to go along with the rest of the album’s broken heart/bad relationship mantra. It is definitely fitting and sweet clean finish to a fucking great album.
Overall Thoughts – Taking Dawn do two things and do them well, rock the fuck out and mourn ex girlfriends. I was looking for more tracks more along the lines of Time To Burn and Like A Revolution but after listening to the album numerous times I was able to catch the musical storytelling that played out on the album. Whether it was intentional or not this album is rock opera about a really bad relationship with a few tracks about rocking out and being a badass thrown in.
The quality of the music that was created in order to convey the emotions of each song is what makes this a great album for me. One of the things Taking Dawn takes pride in is their solos as they should. For a young band new on the scene these guys play like they have been doing this for a lot longer than they have. Once they get a few years of touring and a couple more releases under their belt Taking Dawn will be well known name amongst the music world. I am willing to bet that most of the MTV Americans will snub their nose at this album whereas rock and roll fans in Europe are going to go fucking apeshit nuts for these guys. Time will tell on that one though.
Save Me and Endlessly along with the theme of heartbreak knocked this album down a couple of notches for me. Tracks like Time To Burn, Fight’Em With Your Rock and Take Me Away make up for it though. The music is different and blends the sound of rock with the emotion of melodic metal. This is the main reason why I rate this album at a 4. It is such a unique combination of sounds and influences that together make one of the greatest debut rock albums to ever be released.
Taking Dawn are currently finishing up their US tour with dates in Reno and Vegas and then it is off to Europe through March and April. You can get your copy of Time To Burn at most music retailers so go do it now. You can also catch up everything Taking Dawn on their web site design hampshire, Facebook or on their Myspace.