Taking Dawn

Time to Burn

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Las Vegas-based retro-metal quartet Taking Dawn bypass the spandex and hammy exuberance of their hairspray heroes for an all-out sonic assault that falls somewhere between Cinderella, W.A.S.P., and High ‘N’ Dry-era Def Leppard (the thick, Mutt Lange-inspired harmonies are immaculate). Nearly every cut on their Roadrunner debut is a “hands in the air” fist pump to a bygone era. Frontman Chris Babbitt’s impressive pipes suggest a more muscular Jon Bon Jovi, while the dual leads (courtesy of Babbitt and lead guitarist Mikey Cross) are omnipresent without ever coming across as excessive. It’s nostalgia, but like the Darkness, it’s nostalgia done with both a wink and a middle finger. These guys love this stuff and are very, very good at it. Standout cuts like "Time to Burn," "Take Me Away," "Like a Revolution," and a faithful yet appropriately heavy cover of Fleetwood Mac’s "The Chain" may owe more than a tip of the hat to bands like Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, and Skid Row, but their success falls squarely at the feet of Taking Dawn.

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