Year Long Disaster - Black Magic; Mysteries Revealed (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Year Long Disaster

Black Magic; Mysteries Revealed (2010)


It's unfair to compare sons to their fathers, but I'm going to do it anyway. Sure, Daniel Davies and his band Year Long Disaster deserve a chance to carve out their own identity. But Daniel's dad is Dave Davies of the Kinks, and YLD's sound so deliberately avoids everything the Kinks did right that it becomes obnoxious.

Here's a quick history of the Kinks: They wrote great, loud rock ‘n' roll songs until the Who ripped them off. Then they wrote great concept albums until the Who ripped them off...again. Then they settled for making arena rock records in their twilight that were better than most bands' output but still sad compared to Lola or Face to Face. They inspired punk rock, told great stories and left behind a discography that's cluttered but smart and rewarding in places. They were better than Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Rod Stewart, artists who punks pretty much hate (as well they should, aside from Every Picture Tells a Story).

I mention those three specific bands because they so clearly are YLD's primary influences. It's like some sort of youth rebellion where Daniel feels the need to act out against his dad, but he's going about it all wrong by embracing acts that, while more popular than the Kinks, are way dumber, lamer and suckier. The Kinks wrote smart, catchy, rocking tunes. YLD has a handle on big riffs, but these songs lack depth.

To be fair, the band is at least good at what they do. For radio-ready cock rock, Black Magic; All Mysteries Revealed is better than most entries in the genre. The players are technically accomplished. But the songs are of a lesser value, exacerbated by the fact that Daniel sings like a Davies. This stuff barely worked on Low Budget; it just hurts here. Still, I could this band cleaning up on some lowest common denominator classic/hard rock format.