Album Reviews

Dai Lo – The Constant Threat Of Accidental Death

(Copro) UK release date: 6 October 2003

Dai Lo - The Constant Threat Of Accidental Death For hotly-tipped Nottingham foursome Dai Lo, their moment of truth has come at a time when the British metal scene is down on its bruised knees pleading for someone to kick the flares off the “rock revolution” revivalists. Yes there’s a pretty big vacuum left, but what we the people need is someone, quite simply, different enough and of quality (and no, The Darkness do not count).

Which is why when Dai Lo’s green disc slipped through the letterbox, methodical attention was paid to this, its final judgement. What has made this apparently simple process more difficult than Lord Hutton’s late-night lamenting, is Dai Lo swinging on the ropes of great and gerbal-shite, clocking between the two poles like a promising gymnast.

Invigorating opener Vigilante sets an inviting tone and the reverb-driven House of Cards pumps in some epic anthem early on – think the doomy feedback of AFI (circa Art Of Drowning) meets Glassjaw. Quite a combination, and it’s made all the more intriguing by singer Shaun Bailey’s impressive vocal work.

Indeed what determines how you take to Dai Lo is how you welcome Bailey, who has been likened to Faith No More‘s Mike Patton and just as quickly dismissed as “toss” by my test audience of friends. In three words the answer to the question of similarity is, “Yeah, kind of.” Bailey shares the similar fluidic vocal range – just don’t expect him to scream and rap like a jack-rabbit on speed. The evidently energetic Bailey bears striking oral resemblance to Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo, and at his relaxed best, Mother Love Bone‘s Andrew Wood.

On The Devil’s Prize sinister riff work is discreetly funk-dressed with Rage Against the Machine‘s boxers and Bailey’s sprayed diaphragm clenching, while emo-esque Irresistible Force Vs. Immovable Object is the perfect ticket to beat-down city, detouring down melodic slip roads along the way.

Things start to peter out on Misery Machine with big, downtuned guitars, screaming and scratch work. “You can do better than that, you can do better than that!” lurches Bailey – you certainly can mate.And they do. Green Umbrella is Mother Love Bone had they knocked about 10 years later, with Bailey’s character-filled vocals again on impressive form. And though Golden Rule has been ripped from the Deftones‘ dictionary, it’s too good a tune to ignore, finding Bailey at his most Mike Patton.

This copy of the album climaxed prematurely on Close – which is surely a candidate for first single with its posh effects, overdubs and radio-friendly tempo – before peaking surprisingly at its very knell with a stripped down acoustic moment, emotionally Staind but not despairingly clinging to empty boxes of Prozac.

As Dai Lo cryptically point out, we all live underthe constant threat of accidental death. With this impressive debut, thepotentially oozing quartet can live safe in the knowledge that whatever happens, they’re starting to etch their mark. They just need to make it permanent.

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