DRAMA QUEEN – Drama Queen (2018)
If you crave a fun ’80s Hard Rocking fix then look now further than Rockford IL and DRAMA QUEEN who released their self-titled debut album by themselves.
It may just be one of the gems of this year’s melodic hard rock ‘indie’ releases.
Opening track ‘Lovin’ You’ sets out the stall nicely with the band coming across like the hybrid of Kix, Slaughter and the cream of late Eighties hard rock with a definite sleazy edge, but also keyboards into the mix resulting into a very melodious opener
‘Fine Line’ starts slow and crawls on up to you, it’s a dirty little number that rests a little too much on the chorus but shows that there’s plenty in the tank. And that theory is immediately confirmed by ‘Red Rocker Girl’ has the swagger of Aerosmith but with a harder almost W.A.S.P.-like edge that suits the vocal well.
Deeper into the album ‘Stop Me From Crying’ lands us in ballad territory but it’s one of those smoky Eighties ballads that really reminds me of those times you find a hidden gem from back in the day and immediately want to tell everyone about it.
‘You’re Going Down Tonight’ has a Dokken-like feel to it and again definite vocal similarities to W.A.S.P. it’s a mid paced rocker that does the job before.
‘We’re on Fire’ really show you how solid this band are – every song here sounds authentic, and would stand up against so much music released at the height of Eighties US rock’s mainstream flirtation, and this one is the hardest here.
There’s a chugging mid-paced rocker in the title track, a semi-ballad with a Sunset Strip atmosphere.
The second half of the album is even better.
One of the real highlights ‘Welcome to the Party’ hits, and whilst the album’s certainly done far more than simply got the foot tapping so far, this is one of the songs that lifts it another level. A great riff an insistent refrain and just that vibe of a bygone age when rock could raise you from your daily grind and open up the promise of the weekend for a generation of pre computer-screen-fixated kids.
With tons of cool, a great positive attitude and considerable chops on display fron all concerned I’ve already more than got my money’s worth and we’re still only two thirds gone.
Unsurprisingly the album rounds out just as strongly, with the Dokken-like opening for ‘Get Ready For Love’ leading int a rather more upbeat chorus before fading back to the gentler verse, it’s a nice hybrid approach that gives the song a nice flavour and a Shark Island feel and its own kind of cool.
‘All I Ever Wanted’ is a very well crafted power ballad, still rocking and not sugary at all.
‘Annie’ is another favorite of mine, a quite killer thrusting rocker inspired by the story of Stryper’s Oz Fox’s wife Annie Lobert. Musically it rocks with a very melodic riff, swagger vocals and nice R’n’R lyrics.
We close with ‘Fyre & Ice’ a song which adds a little modern twist to the mix, still grounded firmly in the gloriously lush Eighties sound akin the first Lynch Mob. It’s staccato spikes and smooth lead give it a modern edge in a classic tale of opposites attracting.
“Drama Queen” is full of life, character and energy. It has it all – ballads, mid-tempo rockers and hard-rocking tracks that totally deserve to be played and enjoyed at a high volume.
It’s all self managed, from production to artwork design, and all very well done.
I expect big things of this band in years to come – this is one of the best indie debuts I’ve heard in quite some time.
01 – Lovin’ You
02 – Fine Line
03 – Red Rocker Girl
04 – Stop Me From Crying
05 – You’re Going Down Tonight
06 – We’re On Fire
07 – Drama Queen
08 – Welcome To The Party
09 – Get Ready For Love
10 – All I Ever Wanted
11 – Annie
12 – Fyre & Ice
Tee Sing – vocals
Matt Voght – guitars, keyboards
Rob Pace – drums, percussion
Joe Sanchez – bass
BUY IT !