DENMAN – Raw Deal + EP (2019)
American hard rockers DENMAN just released their debut full-length album “Raw Deal”. Founded by brothers Ben (Vocals, Guitars) and Dakota Denman (Guitars), the four-piece released an EP a couple years ago, and now it’s time for a full disc of completely new material recorded with the help of legendary producer Beau Hill.
First of all, don’t get pushed back by the horrible cover artwork… the music inside is very good.
While there’s a flourishing scene of bands carrying the torch for the hard rock of the ’80s – even in the US – most of them do that in their own way, updating the genre with a current sound. So few of them really feel like an ’80s band because they all decided to take a slightly different direction than their influences.
Denman is the band for people who want a 100% ‘Eighties’ sounding band from the new generation.
Everything about Denman sounds pure ’80s. Their music in “Raw Deal” sounds like it was released in 1987, and you’d never guess it was original music from 2019.
Everything from the guitar tone, drum production sound, gang choruses, songwriting and lyrical content are pure hair metal / Californian hard rock without the slightest bit of modern or outside influence. They do have some American metal tendencies here abd there – but make no mistake: this is a hair metal band first and foremost.
The album showcases the intense talents of the band immaculately. Denman is led by brothers Ben and Dakota Denman, both of whom share dual lead-guitar duties, though Dakota is more often described as the lead guitarist of the group. Ben, however, also pulls double-duty as the band’s vocalist, so the fact that he takes a slight back-seat to Dakota is not because of any technical limitations but due to the responsibilies as a vocalist.
The band is rounded out by Robbie Crede on bass and Ted Karol on drums, both who fill their roles fantastically. Denman is a very technically skilled band, but the musicianship is at the service of the songs.
Guitar wise, the brothers are like a mix of Zakk Wylde and Paul Gilbert. Vocally, Ben‘s pipes are a little bit lower and more baritone than the average hair metal band. However, it still sounds like an authentic ’80s vocal.
The album, co-produced by the legendary Michael Wagener, sounds as ’80s as the first Skid Row album. The songwriting is exactly what’d you expect from a slightly heavier glam band of the era.
There’s some of the mentioned metal influences (yet not heavier than Keel, as example), but for the most part, it’s wild hair metal guitars and big vocal hooks making for catchy songs about driving fast, partying, and women.
As extra, we added Denman’s first EP, another strong bunch of songs also with Hill involved into production, and even a guest appearance by Mark Slaughter.
If you’re looking for a band which sounds exactly like the 1980s, then you will want to listen to Denman. There isn’t an American act out there right now that sounds more ’80s than Denman.
A great – and fun – album for all fans of the golden era.
02. Alive in Overdrive
03. Another Day
04. Call of the Wild
05. Nighttime Jungle
06. Dreams Stay Alive
07. Down Comes the Wall
09. Pedal to the Metal
10. Prison City
‘The Life We Live’ EP;
01 – The Life We Live
02 – One Night Love
03 – Miles Away From Home (feat. Mark Slaughter)
04 – High Heels And Leather
05 – Wild In The Streets
Ben Denman – Vocals, Guitars
Dakota Denman – Guitars
Ted Karol – Drums
Robbie Crede – Bass
BUY IT !