The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





Taking Dawn’s online bio name-drops a lot of 80s hard rock bands; Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Guns n Roses, WASP, Metallica, Slaughter (yeah even Slaughter) before ending with the quote, “Genres, compartmentalization and safe rock n roll be damned.” This would be even more ironic if the band sounded like these bands or the genres they are, um… compartmentalizing themselves into.


The fact is Taking Dawn have a sound that is melodic, riff heavy and full of attitude but there’s something missing here…something that, as a devotee of 80s hard rock, I can’t quite place. I feel a little dissatisfied with the end result despite the fact that I am a fan of the component parts. In short, I feel like I’m being served lite beer.   


These young guns from Las Vegas kick their debut album off with the title track and first single. Time to Burn (the song) is their Youth Gone Wild, a statement of intent, an anthem and a catchphrase courtesy of the Halle-f*ckin- lujah gang-vocal chant that just keeps chanting at you long after the song has finished.


The songs then start to sound very formulaic; Dragonforce sounding dual guitar intro, verse, chorus/vocal hook, verse, vocal hook, solo, vocal hook x 20. It becomes apparent after these melodies have been rammed into your head a couple dozen times that this is hard rock aimed directly at the mainstream, or the ‘core’ generation at the very least.


Comparisons can be made to Trivium in their lighter moments, the aforementioned Dragonforce and possibly Nickelback. The difference is these bands have something else for us to grab hold of; Trivium have the thrash, Dragonforce the speedy rhythms and chaotic guitars, and Nickelback have…well nothing really except every FM radio station worldwide pumping out their latest hit (which sounds just like the hit we heard 6 months before.)


The more straightforward anthems on Time To Burn are quite enjoyable – 'So Loud', 'Fight ‘em With Your Rock' and the title track are more focused and forceful suggesting Taking Dawn are probably better in a live setting than on this album.  


The album closes with a cover of Fleetwood Macs’ 'The Chain' which sounds like Alice in Chains with its slower, brooding vocal melodies. It is the repeated chorus at the end of the song that (again) strips the magic out of the performance.


Despite being somewhat disappointed by Time to Burn I wouldn’t write Taking Dawn off. There is enough talent and enthusiasm on display here to suggest that, with some further exploration of their sound, their soul and their intent we could be enjoying them in the years to come.