Sound — 9
Taking Dawn is an aspiring hard rock/glam metal band from Las Vegas. I've seen in a couple interviews, and they are "not glam metal, just listen to our solos". Which is always good to hear, and man are those solos good to hear. These guys take influence heavily from the '80s, with the likes of Guns 'N' Roses, early Bon Jovi etc. However, they add a modern-day-metal-like shredding element to the formula. Chris Babbit (the vocalist) and Mikey Cross work their axes to the limit on the album, with great guitar work on tracks like "Like A Revolution" and "Take Me Away". Not only are the solos face-melting, but they work extremely well with the melody lines. Even though they shred very well, they move away from it on other tracks. On "So Loud" and "Fight 'Em With Your Rock" they lay down a great sounding groove with fist-pumping choruses. They are high-energy and give you a breather from the oh-so-glorious shredding. What seperates this album from others is, believe it or not, a cover. They cover Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", with a metal twist on it. Their innovation and creativity with the track, while staying true to the original, gives a fresh feel but won't upset Mac fans. This balance really shows what this band is made of. Also, there is an extra track with their song "V" written for the film "V for Vendetta", which is pretty bad-a**. Great guitar work and awesome backing vocals. My only complaint, and I'm nitpicking here, is their backing vocals. They have a "gang-bang of backing vocals", which I find creative and quite effective. However, at times, they tend to drown out Babbit's vocals and can overwhelm the average listener (not like me, I'm too awesome to be overwhelmed).
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics from very deep, like in "Close Your Eyes", to choruses involving "HALLE-F*CKING-LUJAH!" I found the lyrics to be fun on the fun songs and emotional on the deeper songs, but they worked with the music and made it fuller. Chris Babbit is a very talented vocalist, on "Time to Burn" he shines, and is one of the high points of the album. However, I already mentioned the backing vocals.
Overall Impression — 9
"Time To Burn" is a very solid and entertaining debut album, and contends with many seasoned artists' masterpieces. The heavy '80s influences obviously provide a good foundation and Taking Dawn does a great job of turning this into a hard rock album that is great for the casual listener. As Chris Babbit said: "Tattoos just aren't for me. I love them, but they're just not for me. It's kind of like guys having sex with other guys, nothing wrong with it, but I'm not gonna do it. All you guys banging other guys, great job!" This album may not be for you, but it's one hell of a good album.