Davey Suicide Album Review
by Boris Lee
Memoirs of a Mangled Metal Monster Part Two: Davey Suicide
Once upon a time, I was young. Sound familiar? As an aging metalhead putting his desire to write to work in sharing his opinion on somebody else’s creations, I have had to rethink how I approach such a task with what is being offered on the metal music market today. My feelings on “Millennial Metal Music” have not gone unheard, and I am sure have become redundant on certain levels. However, when I approached reviewing Millennial Metal albums from a more optimistic view with my review of the Mister Misery debut release, (linked at the bottom of this article) my sentiments of “Everything sounds the same today,” took a backseat to the musicianship at hand. My feelings on what is wrong with today’s metal music being the same thing that killed metal music at its creative commercial culmination in the late eighties, is negated by the creative cycle in which it was spawned. Meaning, what goes around comes around and anything I could say negative about today’s metal music can be said about metal music long before the millennials who create it today were even part of the night their parents moshed the bedsprings into submission.
Point of argumentative fact is that Millennial Metal has begun to show longevity equal to that of my generations metal music. WTF did he just say? I said that metal music that has been released since about the year two-thousand up to now sounds the same but, has met with similar levels of success that my generation’s metal music did, arguably more. Today’s metal music meets more open markets of acceptance, gains more radio play, and has enough variety in musical concept that it has a broader audience appreciation. WTF did he just say? I know, for all us “Middle Aged Moshers,” reality just hip checked us into sitting down at the venue for the gig.
Rock Ain’t Dead is an appropriate title for the latest release from Hollywood hero, Davey Suicide, as his brand of Millennial Metal is more than just a standard anthem delivery device “Call to arms” for today’s youth. Though the album follows the general formula for today’s commercial metal music, Davey takes things deeper by presenting enough feeling in what the listener hears and enough range in musicianship to break the Millennial Metal mold.
Kicking the album off is the title track, which is indeed an anthem with an anti-establishment musical message. That has always been a formula for success in just about any musical genre, except say country, where everything is about dogs dying, pickup trucks, and breakups. This is a solid song with catchy guitar riffs, vocal angst and pace pounded rhythm that should cause head snapping enjoyment in elder and Padua Metalheads.
A manuscript for musical mayhem mangles your senses with “Medicate Me.” The general flow of the song is upbeat and brutal with a pit jumping pulse. When the chorus chimes in, the song takes on a pure commercial feel. Normally I don’t go for this, but as I said at the opening of this review, there are some things that I need to leave out when sharing my opinion on somebody else’s creation. This song works on all levels thanks to the chorus development. I envision seas of teenagers and early twenty-something’s connecting with this song. Telle Smith’s guest appearance gives a shot of strength to the song. “Medicate Me” falls into a multi-genre category for musicianship worthy of landing on a commercial music chart.
Techno tones, polished piano pieces and lustful lyrics, in marriage with special guest Gustav Wood make “Animal” arguably the standout song on the album. The song has a well-balanced dance club vibe with a nasty bite to it. Images of sweat-soaked Goth and “Techo-punk” folks flooded my mind while this song slammed through my speakers.
“Bad Reputation” head-bangs into the album highlights, bringing a fierce guitar riff, haunting synth and keyboards, and slamming rhythm section score. The opening energy of the song grabs you and brings you into the pit party. Good tune on all levels.
“Addict” is a shot of ‘Nu-Metal’ to veins of the mosh-pit. I applaud this song because it tells an all too accurate and true tale of what a drama-queen craves to get by in life, along with a damaged souls desire to remain in the familiarity of a toxic relationship. “Never again will I fall for this… it’s only a matter of time ‘til it happens again.” The local LA kids should pick up on the Dirty Machine vibe that Davey brings to Addict.
Killing things off on Rock Ain’t Dead is the storybook feeler, “I Need You,” featuring Blacklisted Me. This song falls right into place with how the album flows and taken into context with the album’s opening track, fits like a book cover to a well told story.
Though I am not a fan of formula in creation, be it music, writing, art, etc, formula works. Obviously, that is why so many creative creatures go to a proven formula to draw up a blueprint for their potential success. From musicianship to vocals, the formula for success is etched in Davey Suicide’s Rock Ain’t Dead. The music on the album checks all the boxes for reaching a wide fanbase and opening doorways of opportunity for Davey. I was left nothing short of impressed with Davey Suicide’s offerings on Rock Ain’t Dead.
If I have not said it in enough ways or grunted it enough through gritted grumpy teeth, Millennial Metal music is not my cup of tea. My recent Mister Misery album review opened my mind to what Millennial Metal music is creatively compared to what fashion of metal music I find personal entertainment value in. Davey Suicide truly impressed me with his strength in executing formulated music, and with all things about my personal distaste for most modern metal music taken into account, Rock Ain’t Dead is an “All Killer No Filler” event.
Arguably for me, the strongest point creatively to the album is consistency. There is a consistent flow in the creative energy of the music. Though there is a “Pop-commercial” coating consistently covering the overall product, it works. It’s a smart approach to building an audience and Davey Suicide did this while keeping the core of his creativity true to his message. The use of guest artists, shredding guitars, overall emotional and commercial tone are consistent throughout the album, giving it balance. I have to applaud Davey for his execution in this.
Though I don’t enjoy this style of metal music, I am beginning to understand it, thus have more respect for the artist creating it. If I look back at what my generation of metal music was, the artists of that day all had a common goal. Make money off creating music, and even back then there was a formula being used for success by the more commercially accepted acts. Those who are successful with what they create are successful because they put their soul into what you absorb. They believe in what they are sharing with the world, and even if there is a formula followed for what is being produced, the energy behind the result is what makes the product shine. That applies to music, literature, traditional art, film-making, and any other creative medium. Those who are successful put everything they have into the final results. I should take notes on that for my own creative ventures and stop making excuses for not reaching the heights I desire too.
The bottom line is Davey Suicide’s Rock Ain’t Dead surprised me at how good it is. I give Rock Ain’t Dead…. 4.5 out of 5 raised horns.
Dive into Davey Suicide by following the links below: