Everyone has a friend whose child is, in his or her humble opinion, destined for greatness. “Little Suzy is going to be a famous actress”, or “Little Billy is going to play baseball for the Yankees”. A friend of mine has a son who plays guitar. Last week, while we were at a sales meeting, he mentioned that the band his son is in – Dallas – was getting ready to release a single nationally. I was intrigued and asked if he had a copy of the song he could send my way. He did, and after the day’s activities, I finally had time to download it to my iPhone and give it a listen. I was blown away.
“Bring the Light” is the first single from Dallas. It’s an infectious blend of retro metal and contemporary rock, with a dash of club-centric power-pop. The pulsing, backbeat drum track pulls you along as just the right touch of rich, synth driven keyboards lands you in the bridge. Warm, yet hard-edged guitars provide the foundation for the entire track, and the lush harmonies of the main vocal hook are hard not to sing along with. Bryan Dallas brings a powerful rock voice to the table, with just the barest hint of modern auto-tune in the chorus to compliment the paint peeling, melodic scream he summons towards the end of the song.
It would be very easy to dismiss Dallas as a hair-metal throwback band, looking to capitalize on the inevitable resurgence of 80’s pop metal. To pigeonhole them as just an 80’s hair metal homage, however, would be to miss the true genius of their first single. I had the opportunity to listen to an earlier demo version of “Bring the Light”. It’s a straight ahead rock song – not bad at all. The thing is – it just doesn’t grab you the way this single does. It’s more raw; more primal than the new version – but in many ways that rawness also makes it more ordinary. It’s something I’ve heard before. I love it – but I’ve heard it before.
With the single version, a subtle shift in direction takes the song from pedestrian to perfection. With a slight increase in tempo, Dallas adds an urgency and accessibility missing in the earlier version. It has a definite dance vibe lurking somewhere deep down in it’s DNA. I hear faint echoes of “Tik Tok” (a guilty pleasure) in the attitude of “Bring the Light”. If Ke$ha grew a pair of rock-n-roll sized cojones and dumped P-Diddy for Sebastian Bach, this is the type of song she might put on the charts. By adding a club-friendly presence to the drums, and layering in just a hint of keyboards, Dallas has tailored this song perfectly for a radio audience that may not even know yet that this is exactly what they have been waiting to hear.
You owe it to yourself to check out Dallas – there’s a ton of potential there. “Bring the Light” is the perfect single to move these guys onto the national stage. It’s a well crafted song, heavy on musicianship, and most of all – it’s fun to listen to. I wish them nothing but the best, and can’t wait to hear their eventual debut album. I’ll also make a bold prediction. Once these guys do get signed, and spend some quality time in the studio with an A-list rock producer – watch out for the song “I Close My Eyes”. It’s the kind of song that makes guys hold a lighter aloft. It’s the kind of song that makes girls shamelessly hurl their underwear onstage. It’s the kind of song that makes bands like Dallas, rich and famous. You heard it hear first folks – mark my words.
You can download a copy of “Bring the Light” by clicking here. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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