|Derek Davis - 'Re-Volt' (Apocalypse Records)|
|Written by Ross Welford|
|Saturday, 09 February 2013 03:00|
Babylon A.D. may not have been trend setters or unit shifting behemoths of the late '80s and '90s but they certainly are a name from the glam past that everybody's heard of.
Remember 'Hammer Swings Down', or 'The Kid Goes Wild'? Regardless, the usual story happened to these guys and they actually managed to stick around longer than you'd imagine in the Cobain-led dross of plaid shirts and lack of shampoo. MTV helped them, touring helped them and the fact they weren't total buffoons probably helped them too.
Why are we discussing Babylon A.D.? Because this hip-hop, Everlast-looking mofo is none other than Derek Davis, leader singer of the hair titans.
The hair isn't the only thing that's changed because this first solo effort is nowhere near what you might expect to be hearing from the ex glam man. It's called 'Re-Volt' for obvious reasons once you hear it, and you'll feel he's not a happy man with the world right now. If he's not raging against the man and the corporations, he's all gung-ho with the troops in an all-American stylee.
'Re-Volt' is a juddering intro to this disc, hard hitting and with a hint of anger in his still pretty impressive vocals. 'Bad Man Cometh' is when you realise that he's coming at you with all he's got. It sounds like a Tommy Lee rap outtake with less BOOM! - at least he's trying something different (Monte Carlo is guest rapper in case you need such info?). 'Tied Down And Hammered' and 'Judas Kiss' both up the heaviness and remind you of a Corabi-led Crue on songs such as 'Hammered' or 'Smoke The Sky' - his voice is as impressive. He then goes completely to the other end of the spectrum with solo acoustic ballad 'Troubadour' - again, the vocals are pretty damn good but the song isn't quite up to scratch.
'American Jihad' could only ever come from an American voice and mind - it's an overblown piece that does not equate to the sum of its parts. The whole works go in to this pot from Funk to Rock to Rap to the cries of FREEDOM and whilst it may be a serious statement, it just ends up a bit of a mess.
'Hollywood Heartbreak' or 'I Love U 2 Death' are more of what people would surely expect from Derek Davis - more of a straight forward rock song that breaks no barriers yet stays in your head. 'The Promise' has an almost Santana groove to it and again shows that he's more than a very capable vocalist with the ability to pen a good, soulful tune. 'Desperate' ends the disc and is the ultimate '80s ballad of soul that, if recorded back in the day, you could imagine being a massive hit.
Derek Davis has said that, "it's not the Beatles' 'White Album', but I feel I have had the freedom of expression to write and produce music the way I have always wanted" - that pretty much sums up the attitude of the album that he's created. It may not be the most consistent and it might not be what fans would expect, but he certainly shouldn't be forgotten in the world of Rock.
Hit and miss but worth a listen.