Dali Van Gogh is a band from Halifax, Nova Scotia comprised of Isaac Kent (guitar), Jaad Stewart (drums), Devon Roberts (keys), Cyrus Robertson-Orkish (bass) and John Scotto (vocals). They released three albums; their latest being From Ashes.
The band has an ubiquitous hard rock sound that sounds for the most part FM radio friendly. I want to say this style of hard rock emerged post grunge with varying degrees of success. Dali Van Gogh had a familiar sound to my years. The vocals were masculine, deep and with an inflection that seems to be somewhat of a standard, backed by driving drums and distorted guitars. That being said the band covers a lot of ground with From Ashes.
The band gets going with “Grave Digger” which was an intense opener. It felt like a party right off the bat with celebratory “ooohs and aahhs” and a cutting verse that reminded me of Queens of the Stone Age. No matter what your thoughts are, it’s the kind of song that grabs your attention.
“God Help Me I Like It” resurrects the energy of a band like Pearl Jam in their prime with the opening riff. “Soul Food” continues with impressive kinetic energy while “Black Scales” is a little dark and ominous. “Sunshine” is one of the catchiest songs but the lyrics don’t paint a pretty picture. Scotto sings, “I still inhale the smoke, the smell of ashes / I hear the scream, the please, the growing desperate / Please god, save me, get me out of this nightmare.” It has a great guitar solo as well.
The band showcases impressive dynamics on “Fear” while “Outside Looking in” felt like the most commercially appealing song for the masses. The good times roll with “Babylon,” “Dark Passenger” and the explosive “Stand Up, Wake Up” which sounds like it had a bit more of an ’80’s influence. The band rocks out hard on the whole album and I have to admit that the last song “Torn To Pieces” which contains acoustic guitar felt like an odd way to end the album.
Dali Van Gogh isn’t pushing any boundaries but they know how to make an accessible rock song. Take a listen.
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