Just because you’re different, it doesn’t mean that you are wrong
Los Angeles-based cult rockers Dame Fortune have returned with their third album, ‘The Secret Art’.
The band, made up of guitarist and vocalist David Blake, bassist and vocalist Jeff Wire, guitarist and vocalist Mike James and drummer and vocalist John Merritt, have taken their unique brand of “classic hard rock with a modern gothic edge” to a new level. If you miss the days when Zep and Aerosmith were gods, and find big hooks, sneering rock and roll attitude and slamming power chords practically orgasmic, then you will love this album!
Despite song titles such as ‘A Special Place’ suggesting this may be an emotional album, there is not a trace of a ballad on ‘The Secret Art’: this is dirty, sleazy, good old-fashioned rock n’ roll - any emotional aspects are well disguised by heavy guitars and a thundering rhythm section! Standout tracks are the impossibly catchy ‘Perpetual Emotion Machine’, sleazy ‘Santa Ana Blues’ and arena rock anthem ‘Hikikomori (Live As Though The Day Were Here)’. Special mention should also be made of the outstanding vocal performance on ‘Secret Rulers’.
The content of ‘The Secret Art’ is very clever, with lyrics relaying various messages, the most prolific being non-conformity. ‘Hikikomori (Live As Though The Day Were Here)’, for example, was written to encourage disenfranchised Japanese youth to stand up against their society’s strict code of conformity.
The album itself is cheapened somewhat by the “interesting” cover artwork, which includes badly superimposed images of the band members pulling cheesy poses on backgrounds of a medieval castle, space ship, pirate boat and jungle... huh? The presumably comedic point of these photos is lost on me as the band members look as ridiculous as dads at a naff Halloween party! I would much rather have seen photos of the guys doing what they do best, rocking out!
Dame Fortune put 4 years of blood, sweat and tears into the making of ‘The Secret Art’: overall, I think they have done a good job in producing an enjoyable, rocking collection of songs. They’ve excelled in modernising an enormously popular genre of rock music: this album has the potential to create an army of rock n’ roll fans from a generation that missed out on legends such as Guns n’ Roses and AC/DC.
‘The Secret Art’, like Dame Fortune themselves, is a little off-the-wall in places, but I love it! To quote ‘Hikikomori (Live As Though The Day Were Here)’, “Just because you’re different // Doesn’t mean that you are wrong”.
For further information about Dame Fortune and their previous albums, please visit the band's website or their myspace page..