Doing good business in thier Australian homeland, The Jac Dalton Band are now looking to spread their wings with the re-release of 2010s 'Icarus' for the UK and European markets. A move designed to not only act as a vehicle for their own musical ambitions but to also benefit Dalton's charity, LandAid (www.landaid.org.au) which was set up to help regional Australian communities.
Dalton himself is a North Carolina ex pat, and man can you tell. This second album is brim full of the sort of soft centred melodic AOR the Americans used to shit on demand giving the album a joyous groove that demands a long hot drive through the desert.
Article continues below...
Some have compared Dalton's voice to Coverdale's early croon but it is nowhere near as soulful or dextrous. It is not that it is bad, it isn't and Dalton certainly sings a good song but Dot he ain't. Fitting this sort of quaint AOR perfectly, his voice has a honeyed restraint that mercifully shuns over-egged octave scaling arrogance. Think Bon Jovi's 'Slippery When Wet' with a bit of a vocal overhaul.
On paper, 'Icarus' is an easy album to nail and yes it comes pretty close to the norm of Mr Big and Pride Of Lions but the Antipodean angle works enough sunburnt magic to give the album a resonance that sets it apart from the great white herd. It is smooth and well produced but there is a hot outback shimmer to it that allows the album to neatly side step the generic.
Apart from the insane Hayseed-lite cover of 'DC's 'Back In Black', the general quality of 'Icarus' is pretty damn good with the grunting 'Waterline', the breezy 'Good To Go' and the driven 'Suck Bang Blow' being particularly noteworthy. Throw in the killer track 'Locked Cocked & Ready To Rock' and you'll find an album that suspects it is destined to be a long lost gem.
The chances are that if 'Icarus' had been issued thirty years ago it would have proved a staple of US FM radio with the effortless 'State Of Rock' and 'Eye Of The Storm'. Now, it has a fight on its hands with the Vikings and Teutons shipping this sort of quality high end melodic rock by the ton, though with a fair wind and some luck there is nothing to say 'Icarus' won't get heavily rotated somewhere thus hopefully avoiding the 'much-sought-after-obscurity' tag.
'Icarus' has that certain something that only Aussie outfits possess; a sun burnt shimmer that is unique to our colonial friends. You'll hear it on any Cold Chisel album but you will be unable to identify what 'it' actually is, yet here it is on 'Icarus' in unbridled abundance.