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SickthingsUK: Reviews: Dennis Dunaway Project - Bones From The Yard

The Dennis Dunaway Project - Bones From The Yard

  1. Kandahar (Dunaway, Tedesco, Burns, Wilson)
  2. Me And My Boys (Dunaway)
  3. Man Is A Beast (Dunaway, Tedesco)
  4. Red Room (Dunaway, Tedesco)
  5. Little Kid (With A Big, Big Gun)
    (Dunaway)
  6. New Generation (Dunaway, Tedesco)
  7. Needle In The Red (Dunaway, Tedesco, Burns, Wilson, Hunter)
  8. Stalker (Dunaway, Tedesco, Wilson)
  9. Satan’s Sister (Dunaway)
  10. On The Mountain (Dunaway, Tedesco)
  11. Subway (Dunaway)
  12. Home Sweet Home (Dunaway, Tedesco)

 

It's been a long time coming but the album, which started out as a Dennis Dunaway solo album before become a full blown band project, has finally arrived. 52 minutes of epic classic rock and glam tinged rock and roll that's produced by guitarist Rick Tedesco and also featuring the legendary Ian Hunter on selected tracks.

While the name of Dennis Dunaway is obviously the big pull here this is really a band project with everyone shining in a clear production which allows every instrument to be heard. Guitarist Tedesco works with a variety of different tones to suit each track and main vocalist (and keyboardist) Ed Burns has a great rock voice (which at times reminds me of Blue Oyster Cults Eric Bloom) that perfectly suits the different types of song on offer. Drummer Russ Wilson completes the line up, anchoring the band.

The album starts with the epic 'Kandahar' which is probably my favourite song here. Of the tracks I'd heard previously this was always the one that really grabbed me. The eastern-flavoured sounds alternate between a powerful Zeppelin-esque crunch and the more delicate verses excellently. A real bonefide classic straight off the bat.

Next up is 'Me And My Boys'. If 'Kandahar' is the epic classic rock side of the band, 'Me And My Boys' is the 'Under My Wheels' side. A rolling glam rock and roll number to sing along to on a saturday night. Very Mott The Hoople 'Once Bitten... Twice Shy' (Ian Hunter guests) it's the sound of a band just having fun rockin' out. 'Man Is A Beast' follows displaying another facet of the band. This is a power ballad with some excellent lead breaks by Rick.

'Red Room' begins with a mexican feel, and a cool vocal, which evokes the atmosphere of a sleazy mexican bar with flies buzzing around the room in the heat while the main protagonist does naughty things in the back room with a willing senorita (played by Jessica Williams). A cool track which maybe nods to the late Arthur Lee and Love a little in places?

'Little Kid (With A Big Big Gun)' starts with a very Cooper-esque twisted children's rhyme before hitting into a swaggering grove you can't avoid comparing to Roxy Music's 'Let's Stick Together' or Bowie's 'TVC15'. As with 'Me And My Boys' it's the sort of thing the band probably have a blast playing live. Good time rock and roll, this time with Mott The Hoople's Ian Hunter ripping it up on piano and a guest appearance by Joe Bouchard on 'More Cowbell!'.

'New Generation' is next and any Cooper fan will instantly hear 'Caught In A Dream' in the first few notes of this but the actual song doesn't mirror it at all. Just a little flashback to catch the ear maybe? Reminiscent of mid-70s glam like Mott The Hoople (it actually sounds to me like Hunter singing in the background in places although he's not credited). A cool song with commercial potential.

'Needle In The Red' features an ultra-cool riff that powers along and a great guitar/keyboard solo in the middle. Another highlight. It's just a great rock track. This leads straight into 'Stalker' which opens with a great chugging guitar under a impressive vocal. An atmospheric song full of menace. A highlight.

'Satan's Sister' features Dennis on lead vocals and is maybe a throwback to the late sixties with what sounds like some cool backwards guitar in the middle and lots of sound effects. Definitely a little off the wall but adding to the variety on offer. This leads straight into 'On The Mountain' and back to the epic material with a rolling bass line from Dennis setting up a song with a really malevolent feel. Possibly the heaviest thing on the record it works really well. The second half picks up the pace before reverting back to a crunching variation of the original riff. Good stuff.

'Subway' starts with jungle drums leading into an up tempo rocker with a beat not unlike 'Seven And Seven Is' replicating as it does the feel of a subway train running through the tunnels. Cool slide guitar by Rick and it even has another appearance by Ian Hunter, on theremin of all things, near the end. 'Home Sweet Home' closes out the album with a great verse but maybe the chorus is a little it repetitive as it tries to build to a big finale.

The Dennis Dunaway Project

Ed Burns

Russ Wilson

Rick Tedesco

Dennis Dunaway

'Bones From The Yard' has, like anything that comes from the original Alice Cooper musicians, an awful lot to live up to. While there are brief hints here and there, if you listen carefully, of the Alice Cooper sound this as with everything else shouldn`t be compared to past glories. It stands on its own as a great rock record made by excellent musicians. It has epic songs, fun songs, and a few curveballs to keep it interesting and I think it's this diversity that is one of it's strengths. I don't think it's an immediate classic. Not an album that you will hear once and rave about, but rather an album that rewards repeated listens when you will hear things you didn't hear that first time, a whispered voice, a cool melodic counterpoint. Certainly my personal appreciation grew the more I listened to it and it does drag you back and make you want to listen again.

Anything featuring Dennis Dunaway is likely to be recommended by me, I can hardly claim to be unbiased as I've always been a huge fan for years, but I do think there is something on here for everyone to enjoy, especially if you stick with it and allow the songs to work their magic.

The CD comes in a nice full color card sleeve with transparent plastic disc tray, all designed by Renee Dunaway, and includes track and musician info.