If you listen to a lot of music journalists, they will tell you rock and roll is dead. And, as much as I hate to say it, for the most part they are correct. Now, we all know rock and roll isn’t really dead, but what is meant is that the true spirit of rock and roll is dead as well as the impetus to create new sounds and forms for rock and roll. Seriously, since punk and new wave happened in the early ’80’s, there have not been any new innovations in rock and roll. Yeah, I said it. You may disagree but if you really think about it, post-punk, hair-metal and grunge/alternative are very much derivative to what came along before. You might mention electronica but that is more an evolution of dance music per se than rock and roll.
Evolving from the band Harmonium (featuring future De Novo Dahl members members Mark Bond (aka Vovo Dahl) and Joel McAnulty (aka Joel J. Dahl or Jsperanza) De Novo Dahl began for all intents and purposes in 2001 when Bond and McAnulty reunited to write songs together. Soon, the pair picked up their bandmates Serai Zaffiro (daughter of guitarist David Zaffiro of the Christian metal band Bloodgood and, soon after joining the band, McAnulty’s wife), bassist David Carney, drummer Joey Andrews, and lead guitarist Sandy Sandidge. Over the past few years the band has gelled and has managed to get past their influences and carve out their own interesting musical identity, one that encompasses more than just music.
But, for all their theatrics, the band most resembles a normal pop band on their new CD, albeit one with a huge dollop of talent. While the music borders on ambitious, the band never gets too far up their own asshole that they forget about making their music accessible enough for people to get into. Catchy melodies abound and stellar musicianship is the icing on the cake, but you’re never beaten over the head with it and that’s what makes this album special. It’s like what drummer Charlie Watts brings to the Rolling Stones. Though he is a master musician, his simple rock and roll playing let’s the song shine. What De Novo Dahl manages to do is add just enough of their virtuosity to give the songs and added dimension, but not too much to overwhelm.
A great new album from a great new band sure to impress. Pound for pound, De Novo Dahl’s one of the most talented bands around.