CD Review: Taking Dawn / Time to Burn
Reviewed by: Justin
I love that new band feeling. It’s similar to the new car smell, but better, especially since I like rock concerts better than I like sitting in a new car, although blasting a great CD in a new car on the way to a rock concert is pretty cool too.
My favorite new band of the past month or so is Taking Dawn, out of Las Vegas. In early January, my friend invited me to see Theory Of A Deadman at First Avenue in Minneapolis. The lineup was Taking Dawn, Adelitas Way, Halestorm, and Theory. Since I like to be familiar with a band’s music before I go to the concert, I crammed for it just like I did for final exams in college.
It was easy enough getting my hands music by Adelitas Way, Halestorm, and Theory Of A Deadman, because they already had released albums, but since Taking Dawn’s debut CD wasn’t coming out until after the concert, their EP had to suffice. Needless to say, I was definitely blown away by this three-song disc containing “Time To Burn”, “Like A Revolution”, and “Godless”. I started playing them more than the other three bands combined before the show.
Once I had the opportunity to get my hands on the CD at the concert, I jumped on it. I bought two copies (one for my friend as well), and the band was awesome enough to sign them for us and take pictures after their set as well. Well, all of them except their drummer Alan, who was “sleeping” (wink wink nudge nudge). When new bands show their appreciation like this, it makes you more enthusiastic to listen to their music. Regardless, I wanted to listen to the CD a few times through to let logic and rationality balance out the excitement of the concert.
I have to say that for being a new band, Taking Dawn sounds like they’re a seasoned quartet. The album is full of powerful guitars, big riffs, and excellent vocals on Chris’ part. In describing their sound, there’s definitely an 80’s metal vibe, but it’s blended with a new school angst and energy throughout. While they were a perfect opener for Adelitas Way, Halestorm, and Theory Of A Deadman, they would fit just as well on a bill with Cinderella, Whitesnake, and Mötley Crüe. It’s like 80’s metal for the Facebook/Twitter generation.
While the aggressive opening track “Time To Burn” (also the first single) is the most popular staple in the live set so far, it’s far from the type of track that symbolizes what Taking Dawn is capable of doing. The stand out tracks to me after the first few plays turned out to be “Like A Revolution”, “Take Me Away”, “Fight ‘Em With Your Rock”, “Never Enough” and “Endlessly”. “Take Me Away” is an insanely catchy song that you’ll be playing for awhile, and hopefully the direction that the band will go in the future. “Fight ‘Em With Your Rock” is an intensely fast-paced rock anthem that reminds me of the scene in the movie “Rock Star” where Mark Wahlberg sings that fast, furious song when they’re working on the new album. While the lyrical content is not groundbreaking (sticking it to the man!), their power and musical prowess cannot be denied.
A couple of my friends said they sounded like an 80’s rock version of Avenged Sevenfold, and I can hear the resemblance. “Take Me Away” starts out very similar to “Afterlife” off of Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album. I could definitely hear M. Shadows singing on certain Taking Dawn tracks and Chris Babbitt singing on certain Avenged Sevenfold songs. Who knows? Maybe they’ll cover one of them on a future album, but I doubt it. “Time To Burn” features a sign of their varied influences, closing not with a Guns N’ Roses or AC/DC song, but instead with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, a pleasant surprise on an excellent debut CD.
In today’s climate, it’s tough for new bands to last any length of time, but in Taking Dawn’s case, I hope they’re one of the bands that does. “Time To Burn” is a definite breathe of fresh air in today’s rock music world with a tip of the hat to the old-school sounds of the 1980’s. They’re raw enough where it’s hard to tell exactly what direction they’ll end up going in the future, but this is a damn good start.
What can I say? Taking Dawn indeed rocks, and it’s nice to see something great come out of the Sin City instead of The Killers or Panic! At The Disco.
Check out the band’s video for Time to Burn as our video of the week!
For more on Taking Dawn or to purchase their album visit their website