DRIVE, SHE SAID – Pedal To The Metal (2016)
DRIVE SHE SAID, one of the finest Melodic Rock bands from the late ’80s is back with “Pedal To The Metal“, their brand new album on Frontiers Music.
The terrific duo of Mark Mangold and Al Fritsch appeared under the Touch banner at the 2014 Firefest and this sparked them creating new music, hence now we have the first new Drive She Said album since 2003′s storming Real Life.
For the initiated, don’t let the album title twist you up; this is not a heavy metal album, nor a metal band. Yeah, the title track and ‘Writing On The Wall’ and pretty uptempo and rocking, but Drive She Said is a pure Melodic Hard Rock act.
Joining Mangold and Fritsch are a number of star guests including Tommy Denander, Kenny Aronoff, Alessandro Del Vecchio, along with fantastic backing vocalists including Goran Edman, Chandler Mogel (Outloud, Radio Exile), Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Randy Jackson (Zebra), Thomas Vikstrom (Talk Of The Town) and legendary Peppy Castro (Balance) among others.
‘Touch’ opens the new album, and it’s a really good starter, a killer commercial melodic hard rocker including a big hook, lots of harmony vocals and a sing-along chorus line.
The aforementioned ‘Writing On The Wall’ is a storming rocker and highlights the vocal talents of Al Fritsch. The song features some more lovely out-of-this-world harmony backing vocals too and a few tasty Hammond runs and solo.
Then ‘In ‘R Blood’ has that classy ’89 catchiness plenty of wonderful synths and driving verses to die for.
There are some seriously pomp rock moments on here, like the intro to ‘Rain Of Fire’ – one for lovers of Guiffria. ‘Rainbows And Hurricanes’ is an outstanding track with its catchy melodic rock vibe, then things get balanced with the punchier ‘Rain Of Fire’, plenty of muscle.
‘I’m The Nyte’ provides more variation as it has an almost ’80s poppy feel featuring another guest vocal in ’80s electro pop fan, singer Kayvon Zand.
They still do a ballad as it wouldn’t be Drive She Said album without one. ‘In Your Arms’ starts with a gentle keyboard and guitar, overlaid by Fritsch and then he is joined by Fiona on a duet. This pairing works really well and good to see Fiona continuing her musical comeback.
Another gem out of the new album is the last song ‘All I Wanna Do’ that steals the show with its beautiful acoustic parts and a superb melody.
“Pedal To The Metal” is a great new album by Drive She Said, plenty of melodic tuens balanced with a couple of muscular rockers. There’s Mangold’s abundant colorful keyboards, whether for accent, atmosphere, or in solo, all of which are mighty prevalent. Some lead guitar flavor comes from notable guitarist and producer Tommy Denander.
But, fundamentally, mass of synths or not, the arrangements are really well-rounded, for instance, with riffs getting weight where necessary and juxtaposed against the keyboard.
What I love about this band is how Mangold build his keyboards and arrange the overall harmony vocals. You can tell his Pomp / AOR origins with Touch, but he serves the new Drive She Said music with an updated sound.
I love this kind of stuff.
02. Pedal To The Metal
03. In ‘R Blood
04. Said It All
05. Writing On The Wall
06. Rainbows And Hurricanes
07. Love Will Win In The End
08. Rain Of Fire
09. In Your Arms
10. I’m The Nyte
11. Lost In You
12. All I Wanna Do
Lead Vocals: Al Fritsch
Keyboards: Mark Mangold, Al Fritsch
Guitars: Tommy Denander, Al Fritsch, Daniel Palmqvist
Bass: Ken Sandin, Al Fritsch, Paul St. James, Alessandro Del Vecchio
Drums: Pontus Engborg, Peter Yttergren, Francesco Jovino, Kenny Aronoff
Background Vocals: Goran Edman, Chandler Mogel, Ted Poley, Al Fritsch, Mark Mangold, Kevin Osborne, Randy Jackson, Thomas Vikstrom, Peppy Castro.
Vocals “In the Nyte”: Al & Mark with special appearance by Kayvon Zand
Vocal Duet on “In Your Arms”: Al & Fiona Flanagan
BUY IT !