As it’s been said by plenty of critics before me this autumn, you have to take this contemporary hard rock comeback with a grain of salt for a couple of reasons – chief among them being that so many of the new players trying to make it work as well as it always did don’t know what they’re doing. And then there’s a band like The Dead Daisies.
The Dead Daisies are a straight hard rock outfit with more lineage than the gods, and their new cover of Whitesnake’s “Slide It In” definitely packs much of the artistic bedrock of the genre’s classic sound in a manner that I haven’t found in other similar content hitting record store shelves lately. The Dead Daisies are a little more metallic than the competition, but this could be what makes them such a standout in this single.
“Slide It In” is sharp and well-constructed to focus on the connection between the players as opposed to a singular theme or instrumental centerpiece in the master mix, and I think it does a good job of exploiting the true chemistry between these icons exceptionally well. You can’t fake the kind of magic they’re making together in this piece, and although they play against a conventional rhythm, theirs is such a seamless release that you’d think this was one artist playing multiple parts as opposed to two. There’s something special about bringing the Whitesnake dynamic into the present day, and among those trying to do as much right now, this band sounds the most organic and unforced.
The solid vocal elements hold a lot of melodicism in their own right, and I like the overall use of juxtaposition to make the lyrics a bit more scathing than they would have been in a different presentation. Contrasting the light with the dark is something this band hinted that they might be capable of from the start, which was also released this year to quite a bit of praise from critics around the underground, but in comparison to that track, “Slide It In” is just more efficient, more aggressive, and a lot more polished from the perspective of a professional onlooker. The Dead Daisies are giving us hard rock the way it was meant to be consumed here; raw, angst-ridden, and laden with a viciousness that you can’t find in other genres outside of the classic rock and metal realms in music today.
Both ripping and not the least bit self-absorbed, The Dead Daisies’ “Slide It In” is a fine cover and probably stands a better chance at securing a steady radio presence for this band moving forward thanks to its agile stylization. It takes time to develop a supersized act into something that can be relied upon for selling out huge arenas and the like, but for what they’ve been tasked with as rockers in 2023, I don’t know that The Dead Daisies could be doing a much better job at resurrecting the aesthetical profile they helped to create. They’re ready for the future, and while formulaic by design, their straightforward approach could be the right blueprint to get them there.