D:A:D (short for Disneyland After Dark) was formed in Copenhagen,
Denmark, in the mid-'80s by Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar), Jacob Binzer (lead
guitar), Stig Pederson (bass), and Peter Jensen (drums). The band built a following
in their homeland with a number of independent releases before signing with
Warner Brothers for a reputedly huge sum in 1988. After shortening their name
due to a lawsuit by a certain large corporation, , the band released their international
debut, No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims, the following year. But despite their
hard rock, a great image, and a strong showing in Europe, the album did nothing
in America. A few years later the band finally released their second album, Riskin' it All,
in 1992. After touring behind the album (with a now-legendary stage set featuring
a giant couch as a drum riser, on which the band members would constantly jump
up and down while playing) the band was dropped. By 1995, D:A:D were signed
to EMI-Medley, which released their third album, "Helpyourselfish."
It was followed by "Simpatico" in 1997, "Psychopatico" in
1998 and "Everything Glows" in 2000.
D-A-D - No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims (Wounded Bird) 1989
1. Sleeping My Day Away (4:23)
2. Jihad (2:56)
3. Point of View (4:16)
4. Rim of Hell (4:36)
5. ZCMI (2:48)
6. True Believer (2:23)
7. Girl Nation (3:40)
8. Lords of the Atlas (3:21)
9. Overmuch (3:53)
10. Siamese Twin (2:43)
11. Wild Talk (4:08)
12. Ill Will (2:05)
Sleazy, guitar driven, Hollywood hard rock from Denmark. The band were originally called Disneyland After Dark and eventually became known as D.A.D. due to a lawsuit from everyone's favorite cartoon mouse. "No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims" is actually the band's third release, but was their first release on a major label. The album scored a minor hit in the U.S. with "Sleeping the Day Away". The music here is Western sounding with some very twangy guitar work. D.A.D. have a sound I would describe AC/DC meets Faster Pussycat at a ZZ Top concert. I almost expected the band to break into a spontaneous cover of "Raw Hide". The Good Old Boys Blues Brothers Band indeed! Jesper Binzer has a unique, slightly raspy voice with a punk delivery. Mixed with the steel-guitar of his brother Jacob Binzer, D.A.D. are basically hard driving rock and roll; simple, energetic, a bit sleazy, and not a series lyric to be found. It's all about having a good time.
D-A-D - Riskin' it All (Megahard
1. "Bad Craziness"
2. "D. Law" (3:50)
3. "Day of Wrong Moves" (3:58)
4. "Rock 'N' Rock Radar" (2:38)
5. "I Won't Cut My Hair" (5:24)
6. "Down That Dusty 3rd World Road" (4:26)
7. "Makin' Fun of Money" (4:09)
8. "Grow or Pay" (5:02)
9. "Smart Boy Can't Tell Ya" (3:16)
10. "Riskin' It All" (2:39)
11. "Laugh 'N' a 1/2" (3:32)
It took me a while to come
up with something to say about this disc. While I like the music, I was having
a hard time coming up with a description of this band without making them sound
like a hair band, which is just not the case. I kept wanting to compare them
to AC/DC, but that's not really an accurate
description either. More like a lazy, Southern rock version of AC/DC with a touch of hollywood strip metal, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Scandanavian
cowboy metal! How's that for a label? Ahhh, well, I dunno. "Riskin' It All"
may not be groundbreaking or even a favorite CD, but is rocks hard, has good
riffs, cool vocals, and will generally not become a dust collector in my collection.
I dig the novelty blues jam. Not much else to say. Rock on!
D-A-D - Helpyourselfish (Medley) 1995
1. Reconstrucdead (4:15)
2. Written in Water (4:25)
3. Helpyourselfish (4:40)
4. Soulbender (5:34)
5. Unowned (4:16)
6. Candid (3:20)
7. Blood In/Out (3:16)
8. Prayin' to a God (4:37)
9. Naked (But Still Stripping) (4:43)
10. Are We Alive Here??? (4:50)
11. It's When It's Wrong It's Right (2:43)
12. Flat (4:32)
If I count correctly, "Helpyourselfish" is D-A-D's fifth studio album. It followed on the heals of the band losing their major label deal. The album see the Danish rockers going into a darker, heavier direction and adding in some 90's alternative metal influences. Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Helmet are all influences that can be heard here and there, although D-A-D never completely abandon their own trademark sound. They still have the hooks, the guitar solos and Jesper Binzer vocals. The album opens with the groove heavy "Reconstructed". The steel-guitar that helped define the band's sound in the past makes a marginal return in the relaxed and atmospheric "Soulbender". For the most part though, the album is build around dark, heavy rock and roll songs like "Naked (But Still Stripping)", "Written in Water" and "Reconstructed". After listening to the album several times, I can certainly understand why some fans would be upset over the change. "Helpyourselffish" is not "No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims" part two. However, it's also not the travesty that some reviewers and fans make it out to be.
It should also be noted that the reviews on HeavyHarmonies.com that describe this album as "thrash" are completely and totally baseless. I suppose if you listen to nothing but light AOR, this album might be heavy in comparison, but it's certainly not thrash.
The cover image above is actually printed right onto the all black jewel case.
D-A-D - Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark (AFM) 2011
1. A New Age Moving In (4:18)
2. I Want What She's Got (4:04)
3. The End (3:45)
4. Fast On Wheels (4:06)
5. The Place of the Heart (3:41)
6. The Last Time in Neverland (3:51)
7. Breaking Them Heart By Heart (4:26)
8. We All Fall Down (4:59)
9. The Wild Thing in the Woods (4:50)
10. Can't Explain What It Means (3:16)
11. Drag Me To the Curb (3:36)
12. Your Lips Are Sealed (5:33)
THE CAMPFIRE FAVORITES
1. I Want What She's Got [acoustic] (2:49)
2. The End [acoustic] (3:46)
3. A New Age Moving In [acoustic] (4:58)
4. Last Time in Neverland [acoustic] (3:59)
5. The Place of the Heart [acoustic] (3:48)
6. A New Age Moving In [live] (6:26)
7. Jihad [live] (2:59)
8. The End [live] (4:00)
9. Everything Glows [live] (5:42)
10. Ridin' with Sue [live] (4:10)
11. Monster Philosophy [live] (5:39)
12. We All Fall Down [live] (4:42)
13. Last Time in Neverland [live] (4:34)
14. I Want What She's Got [live] (10:45)
15. God's Favorite [live] (3:07)
16. The Place of the Heart [live] (5:13)
The oddly titled "DIC·NII·LAN·DAFT·ERD·ARK" is the eleventh studio album by Danish rockers D-A-D. This band has never comfortably fit into any mold and with this album the band continues to defy being pegged down into one genre. Hard rock is probably the best description of their sound, but they are all over the map musically, yet somehow all-together cohesive. Some songs have blues influences, while others are build around groove or even funk riffing. I've heard some of their music described as Cow-punk, whatever the heck that is. There is even a song I would describe as sleazy, glammy "hair" metal. "I Want What She's Got" is a killer song with a huge pop hook. The video for this song is hysterical with the band all dressed in drag. "We All Fall Down" is another track with big hooks and reminds me slightly of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, though far less annoying than that band. Vocalist Jesper Binzer has a gritty vocal approach that reminds me of a mix of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Ian Astbury of The Cult. "Fast on Wheels" has a huge hook as well that immediately drew me in. Songs like this and "I Want What She's Got" make me wonder how this band didn't make a bigger splash in the scene in the U.S. and worldwide. This is further driven home by the fact that they are so popular in the homeland even garnering a nomination for Danish Rock release of the Year at the Danish Music Awards in 2012. Album closer "Your Lips Are Sealed" is a melodic semi-ballad.
The 2013 U.S version features a killer bonus disc which is worth the price of admission on it's own. I have to say, usually these bonus discs are either packed full of throw-away tracks or a DVD of the band in the studio and perhaps a video or two. This bonus disc features two complete EPs, "The Campfire Favorites" and "Home Alive". The first five tracks are all acoustic songs and are stellar on their own right. However, what I really enjoyed was the live portions of the disc, which features many fan favorites including "Jihad", which was one of the few songs to crack the U.S. market back in 1989/1990.