The charismatic rockabilly hero (sometimes complete with a creepy pencil moustache) Dan Sartain returns with his dark take on life. Produced by Liam Watson, this is Dan’s fourth album. A cross between the more sombre aspects of The Cure and The Stray Cats, Lives continues where Join Dan Sartain left off with short snappy two minute humourous rockabilly songs with added grit. It is reminiscent of 60’s garage bands like ? & the Mysterians. There is the recurring theme of questioning and challenging religion, most clearly on -Prayin’ For A Miracle’ or the lead single -Atheist Funeral’.
Few of the songs stray beyond three chords but are always an intense, fast paced mix of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll and hillbilly. Perhaps not surprisingly, with an album 30 minutes in length but with a full 13 tracks, the songs themselves don’t really get a chance to come into their own before they finish, which can be frustrating as they lack the completeness of a punk tune, simply stopping rather than reaching a logical climax. That said the catchiness of -Voo-Doo’ with the anthemic -you do voodoo’ lyric is exciting and will translate well live (maybe in May this year). But with funny tracks like -Yes Men’ you need no more time to get the humour involved in these snippets of commentary on life. This blend of frenetic rock -n’ roll with sharp wit make it fun, but not earth shattering.