Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Here's another disc that came out in 2008, but I've only recently been able to pick it up. I have a copy of the original Driver demo that came out nearly 20 years ago and I played it to death then, It truly was a shame they weren't signed. Yet things change sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse (grunge????!)....

I'm not going to bore you with a rehash of Rob Rock's career exploits, I'm sure most of you are more than well aware of them. My bud Dave Johnson truly said it best in describing Rob as
"the power of David Coverdale and the delivery of Ronnie James Dio but somehow (he) outshines them both." Roy Z shines as the bands solo guitar wiz ( brilliant playing). Also joining them are original drummer Reynold "Butch" Carlson and new members (but hardly new to the metal scene) are keyboardist Edward Harris Roth and bass player Aaron Samson (formely of Odin).

Opening with the instrumental "Titans Of Speed" the band tears into a superb version of "I'm A Warrior". Yes it's appeared on Rob's solo stuff and an early Impelliterri disc but this version cranks just as well. All of the tunes from the original demo are here. "Hearts On Fire", "Only Love can Save Me Now", the aforementioned "I'm a Warrior", "Fly Away" (which appeared in a slightly different form on Rob's solo disc 'Holy Hell' entitled 'When Darkness Reigns'), "Tears That I Cried" and the ballad "I Believe in Love".

If you're at all familiar with the sound of Rob's solo material, the sound of Driver is very similar. An 80's flair but these songs are transendent of the time they were written. Driver's songs have good hooks/melody but the guitars are always UPFRONT and in your face. Keyboards are present but add to the textures of the songs and are not dominant. This is guitar driven Metal (Thank you Roy Z!) that is not afraid to be METAL, but Rob's vocal carry the melody that will stick in your head after it's over. Melodic METAL indeed!

Of the newer Driver tunes the title track 'Sons of Thunder' just rips it up. It's a fast paced concert opener if I ever heard one. It drives! With fabulous guitar playing. Smokin! ' Winds of March' has got that chuggin groove that just gets your head movin. Butch and Aaron lock in the rythym section and just groove, baby! Their playing on 'Winds' as well as 'Hearts on Fire' show how they lock together. Great musicianship.

Production is well, fabulous. Roy Z gets some fabulous tones that really puts the whole thing together. The drums pound, the guitar is screaming, the bass plows through with the appropriate amount of keys in the mix. Rob sounds wonderful.

Pop metal this ain't.... There is also an import version with 2 additional songs 'Thief in The Night' and 'Give Me Your Love'. These are 4 track demo's sound the quality is good but not the same as the rest of the disc.

Miss this disc at your own risk....

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