If I think about all the groups and musical ability associated with Trans Siberian Orchestra, it is staggering. From the beginning with Savatage and all the groups and music that have spawned from those individuals it is mind boggling. Add to that all the additional musicians from the two troupes and you have an array of musical diversity that spans almost every genre that you can name. So it comes as no surprise that four of the participants in TSO have got together and formed a new band called Daredevil Squadron with added guitarist Aurelien Budynek.
As legend has it, this old school rock and roll band was formed in the back lounge of a tour bus (TSO would be a safe bet) while watching an old Iron Maiden video. Bass player Chris Altenhoff and drummer Jason Gianni can easily master this style of music with their background and lead singer Andrew Ross is amazing so there is no problem there. Guitarist Angus Clark has proven himself and just needed a partner in crime to make the duo of Tipton and Downing seem like Abbott and Costello! With the addition of Budynek, the band whose mission is to show the world just what a five piece rock band can do was armed to the teeth with capable musicians and great songwriters, these guys manage to bring back the good time rock and roll feel with a modern dramatic flair that might have come from their recent work together.
The twin guitar attack leads off this disc as the title track "Out Of The Sun" unleashes the Squadron with the fury and melodic quality that makes this one sound like something off the video that inspired the formation of the band. All the features that make these guys one of the real fun groups I have heard this year are evident on this opener. Ross gives a snarling dynamic vocal performance and the guitars take turns trying to scorch all that lie in their path! They say that if you want to have a decisive advantage in a dogfight, the best way is to come at the enemy "Out Of The Sun". Be glad that this band isn't your enemy, they know all the tricks!
Let me say this, these guys are not trying to reinvent the wheel here. They are just improving on what has already been on the market for quite awhile. Good rock and roll has never gone away but every once in awhile we need a wake-up call to make us realize what has been missing in the world of music. The recent resurgence of heavy metal/hair metal/boogie metal…whatever you want to call it shows just how enduring this music is and Daredevil Squadron is firmly planted in this classic style.
One thing that bands of that era managed to do that we don't see enough of now-a-days is that they would diversify their sound. Daredevil Squadron is a group that pulls from many sources. You might have a taste of the classic metal bands with the title track "Out Of The Sun" or "Forgotten Son" then you get a bit of boogie that reminds you of something that might come from the Van Halen camp like the song "Back Lounge", which reminds me of the song Hot For Teacher. It can also be said that this song has nothing to do with watching Iron Maiden videos in the back lounge of the tour bus either! The band says that the closing song "Lillian" is their ode to Thin Lizzy. "Heroes Falls" is my choice as the Thin Lizzy tribute with a cute storyline. Poor, poor Superman!
The band then takes you on a bit of a power metal trip with the song "Chronicles Of Sorrow Pt. 1 and continue along this vein with "The Streets Of Montmartre". Both of these tunes show the musical ability that these guys have and some creative and fun lyrics to boot! The guitar work in the later song is a great example of what Mr. Clark and Mr. Budynek can do with their axes.
Like I said, they might not be taking you into any new territory but they are so good within the boundaries that they have set you will have some great fun with this feel good rock and roll album. It is the kind of disc you make sure is near you at all times. You never know when the urge to do some noggin bumping might hit!!
1. Out Of The Sun
2. Punishment Fits
3. Forgotten Son
4. Back Lounge
5. Hero Falls
6. Chronicles Of Sorrow Pt. 1
7. Streets Of Montmartre
8. Power Trip
9. Faith Hope Love