When Did You Leave Heaven? - Dramarama, Bullock, Walter
Physical Poetry (A-B-C-D-1-2-3)
I Will Try
Try 5 Times
Dropping the Curtains
Gotta Get Up
King for a Day
What do you do when your best friend...more like a brother than any brother....is dying? Of course you care for him, you cry for him. And if you're John Easdale, you write him a song. That song, "Everybody Dies" along w... more »ith other new Dramarama tracks originally started out as part of the next Easdale solo project, but some plans are meant to be changed. After having 15,000 screaming, sweat-drenched fans sing along during thier performance at a concert for LA radio giant KROQ (where Dramarama's signature tune "Anything Anthing" is the #1 most requested song EVER.) original Dramarama members Easdale, Peter Wood and Mark (Mr. E Boy) Englert didn't need any more convincing - Dramarama, the name and the band would go on. Now, Dramarama has gone back into the studio and emerged with a new album, "Everyboyd Dies" continuing their gwest to better the world with their music. Okay, well, at least to have fun and create more intense, intelligent, incredible rock & roll. To quote "Everybody Dies".« less
What do you do when your best friend...more like a brother than any brother....is dying? Of course you care for him, you cry for him. And if you're John Easdale, you write him a song. That song, "Everybody Dies" along with other new Dramarama tracks originally started out as part of the next Easdale solo project, but some plans are meant to be changed. After having 15,000 screaming, sweat-drenched fans sing along during thier performance at a concert for LA radio giant KROQ (where Dramarama's signature tune "Anything Anthing" is the #1 most requested song EVER.) original Dramarama members Easdale, Peter Wood and Mark (Mr. E Boy) Englert didn't need any more convincing - Dramarama, the name and the band would go on. Now, Dramarama has gone back into the studio and emerged with a new album, "Everyboyd Dies" continuing their gwest to better the world with their music. Okay, well, at least to have fun and create more intense, intelligent, incredible rock & roll. To quote "Everybody Dies".
"A friend of mine had just recently told me that he spotted what he thought was new Dramarama at a local music store. Could it be? After 10 years, is the original band back? Could they recapture the magic? Well, it's true. They are back -- 3 of the the founding members (no Carter or Jesse) -- and so is most of the magic.
I was familiar with John Easdale's music in recent years and have his solo album. That album was solid, containing John's wonderful blend of edgy and powerful vocal work. But the overall release was pretty uneven. EVERYBODY DIES takes that solo career a step further. It still sounds a lot like solo John -- and from what I understand, the songs were written earlier -- but the overall sound takes on a lot of the full Dramarama sound. The guitars are back in full throttle. And John seems right at home in the mix.
There are some mediocre moments on the CD. Some songs, while not terrible, are just perfectly average rock approaches (ex: Gotta Get Up). But when Dramarama is "on," they are REALLY on the money. "Physical Poetry" conjures up the best of their classic sound -- powerful, playful, and downright tight. Some of the more somber moments are still powerful and compelling. "The Bottle and the Bell" and "King for a Day" are polar opposites in style, but affect in an equally emotional way.
But the highlight for me is "Dropping the Curtains," one of the most powerful Dramarama moments recorded. It's captures the hard-driving, dark delivery of "Tiny Candles" (VINYL) or even "Where's the Manual" (HI-FI, SCI-FI). This is the band in its glory.
I'm not sure if there will be more Dramarama work in the future. But songs like "Dropping the Curtain" make you realize that there is an awful lot left in the tank for these boys. The music is still meaningful and not at all dated in sound. I guess it's hard to become stale with such a classic style.
Let's hope for much more from these guys. Rock music will be worse off without them."
THE RETURN OF ONE OF NEW JERSEY'S FINEST
Gary Romanski | the swamps of Jersey | 11/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dramarama-probably THE most underrated band of the past 15-20 years. For some reason, they always flew under the radar despite putting out a string of high quality albums. In 2004, VH1 put the guys back together after a ten year hiatus for their "Bands Reunited" series and here are three-fifths of the original band back with all new material. Singer John Easdale's manager and best friend passed away recently and his death has colored almost all of the lyrics on the new record down to the title "Everybody Dies". But, rather than a maudlin, depressing tribute, we get an uplifting, bouncy tune lovingly referred to as "the Cowbell song". Listen, and you'll hear why. Elsewhere, we get "Physical Poetry", which sounds like the band never missed a beat after being apart for 10 years, a nice blues workout "Try 5 Times", guitarist Mark Englert's showcase "Dropping The Curtains" and "Good Night America", where Easdale lovingly critiques some aspects of our great country. My only complaints are the lack of some truly rocking material. If you only know the band from the tune "Anything, Anything", there's nothing remotely close here. Some people may find this album "too mellow", but it's just another side of the band. Plus- in the spirit of all of their original albums, they've included bonus hidden tracks. But, they missed the boat by not including their scorching version of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" which is only included on their latest single available on Easdale's website. Pick it up if you can-plus you also get a version of the "Rainbow Connection" by the Muppets??? As a matter of fact, buy anything, anything from this band if you haven't done so by now. Highly recommended."
Dramarama returns with a killer new disc! Everybody Dies
R. Klingenmaier | Fullerton, Ca United States | 10/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great album! Starting with the quiet introspective of "The Bottle and the Bell" and kicking right into the title track, just about the happiest song about death you might ever hear, this album proves to be the most diverse Dramarama record to date. Old fans won't be disappointed, as Everybody Dies delivers with songs like the rocker "Try 5 Times" the irresistable love rocker "Physical Poetry" and the title track (the cowbell rocker) "Everybody Dies."
Except for "The Company" (my personal favorite) which was co-written with long time friend and original Dramarama guitar player Mark Englert, and "When Did You Leave Heaven" originally from the 1936 film "Sing Baby, Sing" the songs are all written by Dramarama front man John Easdale whose wry, honest lyrics have never been more insightful.
The album also features standout performances by Mark Englert and other longtime Dramarama guitar player Pete Wood as well as Easdale's "solo band"-mates Craig Ballam, Mike Davis, Tony Snow and others.
Oh... and don't miss the super secret hidden bonus tracks! Everytime I thought the record was over, it just kept on going!"
Dramarama Looks Death In the Face...and Smiles Back
Some Crazy Dame | New Jersey, USA | 10/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just in time for Halloween 2005, our old friends Dramarama bring us "everybody dies," their first full-length studio effort in more than ten years. And yes, while "everybody dies" is a CD all about death, dying, and our relationship with those somewhat offputting concepts, before you run away screaming, know this: this is no morose group of tunes. On the contrary, singer-songwriter John Easdale and crew have assembled a collection of songs about the topic that's more optimistic and upbeat than it really has a right to be. And it works.
In the wake of recent disasters both global (Pacific rim tsunami, Pakistani earthquake) and local (Hurricane Katrina and of course, the 9/11 terror attacks), our relationship with death has probably changed somewhat for all of us. And for Easdale, 2003 was a particularly tough year in which he lost several people very close to him (including his best friend and business partner Greg Dwinnell), to both illness and a dreadful suicide. But fortunately for us, these tragedies inspired in Easdale and his band a CD's worth of creative streak that demands a listen.
If you want to read more of this review, it's been published online at http://www.upstagemagazine.com/asburymusic/articles/getarticle.php?ID=1134"
John Easdale is King
J. Ciprich | NJ, USA | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just saw a show with the "mostly" original line-up in NJ last Fall. John is a real showman and you can tell he loves what he's doing on stage. After playing any early Dramarama song he referenced how that tune was 21 year old and recommended buying it a drink. Great songwriting never ages. This band rules! Buy the cd and their whole catalog."