Album Review: LONELY DAKOTA Tries A UK Twist On Southern Rock

It’s definitely safe to say that music is a global entity. Sure sounds made their way around through mix tapes in the mail at one time, nowadays they fly thanks to the internet. Which means different global locations are being inspired to do their take on styles and genres. So when Lonely Dakota came into my ears doing southern rock but based out of the UK, my attention was grabbed.

The feel of southern rock exists on their debut EP End Of Days but it’s not completely there as there’s a battle to also be heavy. Don’t get me wrong, it is heavy and it does have southern rock vibes but it’s either one or the other.

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The best track on End Of Days without question is “Medication” because you can feel the comfort and unity of the band on this one. The guitars opening the track have a groove that makes you feel the summer down by the lake of some small town with friends and a cooler full of beers. The harmonies in the chorus make this feel like its strait out of the 70s or even 80s. Sure the rhythms are simplistic and the true guitar work doesn’t come screaming in until the end of the song but the best radio hits over the years are simple fun tunes that everyone can just crank up and enjoy. Which is exactly what “Medication” is.

Flip the switch though to “Overdrive” where they’re more hard rock than southern rock. But in this case Craig “The Machine” Sepala is you engine as you fly down the highway with this bad boy cranking. Paul “PJ” Jackson turns the guitars into a little dirty echo of the lyrics that works better than you’d expect. Usually the guitars mimic words on their own during the solos but in this case the guitar actually harmonizes with the vocals. A very unique trick that more bands might start doing if this song gets around car stereos sooner than later.

Unfortunately the other tracks on this introduction to Lonely Dakota fall a bit short. “15 Years” sounds like they tried to rewrite Skid Row’s “18 & Life” to be a little edgier and modern. Good idea but it just feels a little forced. As does the ballad “Victoria” and trust me I know how hard ballads are to get right and there’s more bad ballads in rock and metal than epic ones because everyone wants one.

I had hoped the find the UK sister to New York’s Killcode when I started up Lonely Dakota’s debut EP End Of Days but instead I found their cousin who needs a little guidance. They’ve got the right edge but Lonely Dakota just needs to pick weather they want to over completely over to the hard rock edge or been the southern rock band that rides in on motorcycles with steel toed boots.

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