D-A-D - A Prayer For The Loud (Album)
Do you know how sometimes you have this little band you love? None of your friends have really heard of them, let alone listen to them. You never seem to bump into anyone else who knows who they are, but that’s cool because it makes them kind of… yours. You know what I mean?
Well, during the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, a peculiar Hard Rock from Denmark called D-A-D were that band for me.
I’d stumbled onto their third album ‘No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims’ somehow and fell in love with its Motörhead-style Biker Rock mixed with some tasty Surf Rock guitar solos and Jesper Binzer’s raw, ragged vocals. The following album, ‘Riskin’ It All’, fine-tuned that formula and ‘Helpyourselfish’took them down some darker, heavier roads.
I listened to those three albums an absolute ton, quietly smug because I had my own“you probably haven’t heard of them” band. Then, around the turn of the Millennium, I spent a couple of weeks in Aarhus, Denmark and D-A-D were everywhere. They were on the radio and the TV, record stores had entire sections dedicated to them and they were household names. Mums idly sang songs like ‘Point Of View’ and ‘Bad Craziness’ to themselves. Songs that I’d been putting on mixtapes to impress people with my obscure musical knowledge.
It was a very surreal and humbling experience.
So, nigh on twenty years later, D-A-D (they were originally called Disneyland After Dark but you know how Mickey can get when he’s in one of his moods) have just released their twelfth proper studio album, ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ and their first since 2011’s ‘DIC.NII.LAN.DAFT.ERD.ARK’
Over the years they’ve gradually honed their sound into something subtler and more radio friendly than those early albums. With Jesper’s harsh rasp of a voice, they’re never going to be Coldplay but ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ is still a world away in style from the Country Punk of their debut album, ‘Call Of The Wild’ way back in 1986.
The opening track is ‘Burning Star’, a straight forward rocker about appreciating life for what it is and trying not to get too bogged down by the bad stuff. There’s slight echoes of guitarist, Jacob Binzer’s old, twangy style in the driving riff that kicks in after the choruses.
Following is the Bluesy title track. The verses bobble along on a nice guitar lick before the big, anthemic chorus explodes forth. The quiet/loud dynamic works well in this song.
‘Nothing Ever Changes’ picks up the pace with a howling, repetitive guitar line that carries along this lyrically bleak tune about war and not learning from past mistakes.
Next up is ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’. It is a mid-paced track with more of that cool old guitar sound. In fact, it’s very reminiscent of one of their biggest songs from back in the day, ‘Sleeping My Day Away’, I dunno if that’s an intentional nod maybe. There’s some nice back and forth vocals between Jesper and, drummer, Laust Sonne in this too.
‘The Real Me’ was one of the first songs unveiled from this album when they started playing it live a year or so ago. It’s easy to why as it’s a strong, catchy rocker that feels like an old classic, not a brand new song. It’s all about how we know that to succeed others must suffer but we try not to think about that sort of thing. ‘No Doubt About it’ is next and another simple, mid-paced track that’s just about being happy listening to good music.
The first ballad on offer is up next and sung from the viewpoint of cynical old curmudgeons who still want to find love. I’ve always found it impressive when people write songs in a second language. Jesper Binzer writes better lyrics in a second language than the majority of people do in their first. He has a penchant for emotive imagery and nice little quotable lines. There’s a couplet in ‘A Drug For The Heart’ I particularly enjoy that’s a good example and also sums up the song perfectly:
“You said love was a flame and you won’t get burned again
But maybe love is like the wind, it won’t care where you’ve been”
After that gentle slice of positivity, ‘Musical Chairs’ ruins the mood and rudely crashes in with a frenetic, catchy riff and doesn’t let up the pace until it sputters abruptly to a stop. Pretty apt for a song about racing through life without making plans and finding yourself with nowhere to sit.
‘Time Is A Train’ a slower, thudding track with another huge chorus and ‘Happy Days In Hell’ kicks off with the fine opening line of “What doesn’t kill you makes you interesting”.
It’s the final uptempo song on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ because closing things up is the soaring, uplifting ballad ‘If The World Just’. A powerful song about how we stay comfortable even if that means we’re miserable. Then we moan about being miserable but are unwilling to take risks or chances that might improve our lot.
‘A Prayer For The Loud’ may be a simpler, less eclectic collection of songs than previous albums but that’s just what the band intended and it’s a solid set of songs with no filler and as good a start as anywhere for those who aren’t already familiar with D-A-D.
My “you probably haven’t heard of them” band are currently selling out arenas across Europe in support of this album.
1. Burning Star
2. A Prayer For The Loud
3. Nothing Ever Changes
4. The Sky Is Made Of Blues
5. The Real Me
6. No Doubt About It
7. A Drug For The Heart
8. Musical Chairs
9. Time Is A Train
10. Happy Days In Hell
11. If The World Just
Jesper Binzer – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jacob Binzer – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Stig Pedersen – Bass, Vocals
Laust Sonne – Drums, Vocals
Band Website: https://d-a-d.dk/