This was definitely a pleasant and unexpected surprise. I remember, at some point a few years ago, I’ve read something abut and EP by Bryan Dallas but I didn’t have the chance to listen to it. Time passed by and we got a hold of the self-titled debut and we were absolutely blown away by it! This is exactly what hard rock music needs nowadays and let’s be more specific, shall we?
Forget the groundbreaking attempts and the constant search for a new sound. Dallas has absolutely no intention of reinventing the wheel. Quite the opposite, really. It’s more than obvious that he worships Def Leppard, he admires White Lion but he also wants to inject a sense of a slight modern touch to the whole sound. The production is really a tip of the hat to Mutt Lange and “Hysteria” (something that Grand Design has done in the past) but the most important thing is that the songs are really really good. Naturally, the comparisons with Def Leppard are unavoidable but the potential listener shouldn’t stick to that but enjoy the whole thing without overanalyzing it. After all, it’s art not science! As we said, Bryan Dallas wants to add a slice of a modern touch in there so you get for instance a song called “This Love” that reminds of Reckless Love while another one called “Rock You Like A Bomb” could have easily been on a Crazy Lixx record. But when you listen to songs like “Miles Away” and “Close My Eyes” the supreme kings are none other than Def Leppard.
All in all, this debut album by Dallas is a pure enjoyable tribute to the glorious 80s but it also provides a glimpse into the future. Its key characteristic is the catchy song structure and the memorable hooks of every single song. I think this is one of the best hard rock albums of 2018…
Highlight: Both the Japanese and European version of the album includes many bonus tracks…check them out!