Friday, April 25, 2014

The Evolution of Southern Rock. The Dead 27’s - Chase Your Devils Down

It is often said that to know where you are going, you must also know where you have been. With the recent release of their debut album, Chase Your Devils Down, The Dead 27’s (Trey Francis, lead vocals; Wallace Mullinax, guitar; Will Evans, guitar; Oliver Goldstein, bass; Daniel Crider, drums) reveal a firm grasp of the historic journey of Southern Rock while also painting a soulful, eclectic and limitless vision of the road ahead.

When listening to this album, the musical influences that drive the Dead 27’s are immediately evident. This album pays homage to the distinctive and historic sounds of Southern Rock while incorporating a unique blend of blues, rock and a bit of 70’s classics.  On the track, “Don’t want to live my life without you,” we hear a distinctive 70’s melodic influence complete with high harmonies and a bass line that simply makes you want to groove. Moreover, with such deep influences, there are some comparisons to be made on this album.

One comparison that immediately came to mind was that of Trey Francis’ vocal performance on “Don’t Comfort Me.” On this track, Francis sounds surprisingly similar to Chris Robinson, formerly of The Black Crows, and now lead vocalist for Chris Robinson Brotherhood (CRB). Considering that these guys have recently opened for the CRB and these bands all embody the evolution of Southern Rock, the influence is understandable. Yet, Francis delivers plenty of individuality on this album, clearly defining his unique vocal ability and range.

Southern Rock is traditionally known for incorporating powerful bridges and this album certainly delivers plenty of those. In fact, when listening to this album, I can imagine the sound engineers were challenged to balance Francis’ vocals with the band at times. In a few instances I thought the amazing talents of guitarist Wallace Mullinax competed with or somewhat overplayed the vocals of Francis. This is more a testament to the individual talents of these guys rather than a criticism. Anyone familiar with the Charleston, SC music scene is well aware of the instrumental chops that Mullinax possesses. Throughout this album, he delivers defining riffs while the band communicates and blends seamlessly.

While Chasing Your Devils Down is an album anyone can and should enjoy, to fully appreciate what the guys have delivered here demands a level of investment and listening maturity rarely found in the music industry today. Like a genuine Lowcountry boil, Evans, Goldstein and Crider provide the meat, while Mullinax and Francis provide the spice. This album incorporates some delicious musical influences with a fresh approach that leaves you wanting more and hitting the replay button often.

Visit the Dead 27’s official website at

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