Dead Men Walking – Easy Piracy (Rating 4.5 out of 5)
Every song on Easy Piracy, the latest effort from Dead Men Walking, is better than the last. There is not a runt in this litter. I know what you are thinking before you even think it. If every song is better than the one that came before, this means at some point we should be reaching very good to great levels, maybe even bordering on spectacular once we tap out at number 15. And yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And that is exactly what we are talking about here Willis, every song is the toppest of notch.
Sometimes when an assemblage of somewhat past their prime Rock Stars get together to make music the results can leave a bad taste in the ear of the beholder. But when it works, as it does here in impressive fashion, the finished product can be pretty outstanding with the entire whole very much exceeding the sum of the individual parts.
Existing previously as pretty much a live “let’s plug in and kick some Rock & Roll rear end” sort of band Easy Piracy is the first proper studio record from the collective that includes “Slim” Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats, Mike Peters from The Alarm, Chris Cheney of The Living End, and Captain Sensible the bass player with the Damned. Oh, and if that’s not enough Post Punk-A-Billy star power for you, Lemmy, Head Stray Cat Brian Setzer, Derek Forbes of Simple Minds, and Mick Jones all make guest appearances on the album. Boom goes the dynamite!!
The gentlemen start your engine, smooth sorbet of a palate cleanser “Rock and Roll Kills” starts the meal off with a Stray Cat influenced foot wiggling number that right out of the gate establishes the band as true and authentic with each member having their own lions share of swagger. And the meal only gets more tasty from there. “Rock and Roll Kills with peace and love, Rock and Roll kills with sex and drugs, Rock and Roll kills with three chords and the truth.”
Much like bagpipes, or a mariachi band, a little Rock-A-Billy goes a long way, and all fears of an overdose are immediately put to rest with the next song “Damned Damned Damned,” a Replacements meets the Ramones roller coaster ride of a number where your ears will first come to realize that there is something really cool going on here. “Deadman Blues” could have easily been used in the closing scene of Sons of Anarchy, and “Whatever Turns You On (Will Turn You On)” sounds like the Clash if they were fronted by Willy DeVille , it’s that other side of the pillow cool.
The best song on the album, and the one that most accurately represents the spirit of the Band is “The Devil’s Music” a pure Rocker that channels the spirit of Joe Strummer, and when they proclaim in unison that they sold their soul for the devils music you very much believe them.