After more than decade of playing countless live shows, running bands, putting on Kiss and classic rock tribute shows to being a hired gun for chart topping artists and international stars, Vern Daysel kicked off his solo career in 2014. Working as a true DIY musician he has built his brand from the ground up, playing over 150 shows per year. Vern`s debut album in 2016, “Shootin` the Breeze”, earned him a breakthrough with features in Classic Rock Magazine, local TV shows, music blogs, and gaining radio airplay in the US, Europe and South Africa, as well as signing a European distribution deal with Lions Pride Music. Daysel wrote, recorded, produced and played all the instruments just as he has done on his brand new album “Blood of a Wolf” on the new album, except for the bass.
With a Billy Squier lilt to his voice, a Sammy Hagar twist to his guitar, and a hard rocking southern drive in his rhythm, Vern Daysel sets about presenting a kickass album with “Blood of a Wolf”. He clearly surpasses his previous efforts and delivers a sound that is dirty and sludgy yet intense and beautiful. He stays within the Southern Rock boundary but does enough to stand out from the clutter and carve a unique identity of his own.
This album arrives with a bang and mesmerizes us with Daysel’s crunchy sound and feel-good vibes, showing he has truly come of age as a recording artist. “Blood of a Wolf” has all the artist’s characteristic elements amped up to the next level of awesomeness. The crunchy overdriven riffs are heavier, the drum-work is groovier and Daysel’s vocals sound beefier than ever.
The album opener “Blood of the Wolf” will have its way with your eardrums, with its bluesy intro and stop-start groovy hooks. Daysel’s massive vocals don’t stay hidden for long as he just belts out the chorus with all his might. The solo adds a fiery touch to this solid opener as Vern Daysel announces his arrival in style.
The best part about Daysel is his simplicity –if you assess each element in his songwriting individually, they do not seem to do anything radically groundbreaking, but with the way they all come together, it is hard not to get lost in his compositions and be thrilled by his performances.
Take the rollicking “Last of a Kind” as an example. It is as straightforward as it can be and you will be more than familiar with the structure it follows, but still you will sing along to its chorus and it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, especially when that blazing guitar solo slides in.
At its core, the drum work is groovy and full of energy while the bass does not get lost in the mix and provides a nice cushion to the sludgy guitars. The album has some standout moments that really pull the listener in. Three tracks that come to my mind are “Roll of the Dice”, “Moon River” and “So Long and Goodbye”.
These intense rockers are so much fun to listen to that you will yearn for more even after multiple spins. The Southern Rock riffage delivered in these songs, simply amplifies the heaviness of Daysel’s sound and gives him a jagged bed of groove to rest his vocal parts on and rip out his bluesy solos in style.
Vern Daysel leaves the best for last, with the album closer, “Sinner”. It is a big, bold, unapologetic almost 80s-loving, swamp-like mid-tempo banger, and I cannot stress how phenomenal the chorus hook is. I would not at all be surprised if this becomes the song that defines this album, and it deserves to be. “Sinner” swaggers into view with a lascivious grin and arrogant strut that puts groove firmly back on the agenda. It’s the kind of tune legends usually build their careers on.
“Blood of a Wolf” is a full-throttle album with a fistful of memorable melodies. What strikes home most, however, is not the vim and vigor of the record, but rather the restless creativity and variety that makes the album so continuously interesting.