The Dead Daisies: ‘Holy Ground’

Released on January 22, 2021 (Spitfire Music / SPV GbmH)

Many bands go through line-up changes but The Dead Daisies seem to be leading the charge these days following the announcement that drummer Deen Castronovo has jumped ship. His replacement has been named, in Tommy Clufetos, Ozzy Osbourne‘s current touring drummer. This followed the news more than a year ago that both lead singer John Corabi and bassist Marco Mendoza had been replaced by new singer and bassist, Glenn Hughes. Never having been much of a Hughes fan and being a rather large Corabi fan, all this left a sour taste in my mouth. Heck, I was irked when drummer Brian Tichy jetted just when the band was really hitting its stride. I saw the Daisies play live with their original vocalist Jon Stevens and guitarist Richard Fortus. They were a fun band, but they were really something to see when they bumped things to the next level with Make Some Noise. Toss in the weird, “Hey now, we’re the Deadly Daisys” thing that floated around for a bit, and I myself had about all I could stand. These Daisies were all but dead to me.

September of 2019 brought a new tune from the band in, “Righteous Days.” It was a pretty decent song, but nothing overly special. The thing that struck me the most, was how much Glenn Hughes sounded like the original singer Jon Stevens. It was almost as though this was a track from the early days of the band that surfaced. The band then completely slipped off my radar and I was over them. Last year came and went and maybe this band, that had been so active recording and touring for five years ran out of steam. If so, it had been a good run. Around Christmas, I caught wind that the band was finally getting ready to release their new album. I checked online to see that another song or two had been released, so I checked out “Unspoken” and it too was a decent track, but in my mind a lesser song than the previous one, so my expectations for the record were fairly low. Last week, curiosity got the best of me and I picked up a copy of the CD, Holy Ground. It took me almost a week to give it a spin, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

The album begins the title track which has a really nice groove to it and really gets things off to a good start. Midway through the second song, “Like No Other (Bassline),” lead guitarist Doug Aldrich rips through a killer solo followed by an aptly placed bass solo. Things continue with “Come Alive” and I realize that I am really digging this album. It is very heavy, guitar driven and catchy as hell. “Bustle And Flow” had me wondering what it would sound like with John Corabi on vocals. “My Fate” is a heavy tune that chugs right along, which is exactly what this album does. The Daisies have never shied away from cover songs and they very well may have recorded the best one they have ever done, with a killer version of the Humble Pie song, “30 Days In The Hole.” This album just rocks non-stop for ten great songs until it slows down a notch for the beautiful album closer, “Far Away.”

I will be the first to admit I slept on this band and this album, and shame on me! What a great album from start to finish. Wow! Time will tell if Holy Ground will stand the test of time like Make Some Noise, but it is certainly their best album since and very possibly their best to date. I do wonder what these killer songs could sound like with John Corabi singing them, but Glenn Hughes does a fantastic job and the similarity in his voice to Jon Stevens gives this incarnation of the band a definite familiarity. This album not only sounds like it’s The Dead Daisies, it sounds like them at their best! Anyone who is a fan of great guitar driven non-stop hard rock needs to do themselves a favor and pick up a copy of this album. Fans of physical releases in particular are going to dig this as the album art and packaging are pretty damn cool as well!

Track List:
01. Holy Ground (Shake The Memory)
02. Like No Other (Bassline)
03. Come Alive
04. Bustle And Flow
05. My Fate
06. Chosen And Justified
07. Saving Grace
08. Unspoken
09. 30 Days In The Hole
10. Righteous Days
11. Far Away

Band Members:
Glenn Hughes – lead vocals, bass
Doug Aldrich – lead guitar
Dave Lowy – rhythm guitar
Deen Castronovo – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Todd Myers for Sleaze Roxx, February 2021

The Dead Daisies‘ “Holy Ground (Shake The Memory)” video:

The Dead Daisies‘ “Bustle And Flow” video: