Where Are They Now?--Drivin N Cryin
So, how to describe Drivin N Cryin? Maybe southern-fried pop with a heavy metal influence... Or, rather a hybrid form of southern rock with heavy metal influence, but a pop sensibility... whatever it was, I liked it.
Their rise to some prominence definitely followed the same post-hair-metal era (ushered in by Guns N' Roses, when Axl let his hair down) opening that the Black Crowes ('Best New American Band' of 1990 according to Rolling Stone's readers poll) rushed through. In fact, the introductory guitar hook of the album-opener "Around The Block Again" sounds ripped right out of the Black Crowes playbook. (Of course, the Black Crowes playbook is more or less lifted directly from the Rolling Stones, as percolated through a combination Lynyrd Skynyrd/Aerosmith filter). In any event, the second track "Chain Reaction" and particularly the album-closing "Rush Hour" both have riffs that would've been quite comfortable on a Megadeth album! The mid-section of the album includes a couple songs ("For You", "Let's Go Dancing" and to some extent "The Innocent") that emphasize the lighter edge ("cryin' side") of their music. Throughout the entire album, however, the melodies are never lost--even in the heaviest of their "drivin' side" moments.
And, let me just say here that lead singer/guitarist Kevin Kinney has one hell of a cool voice. Love it!
Kinney also wrote the band's lyrics, which have been described as Dylan-influenced. Of course, most of the lyrics of any note in the last 45 years have been Dylan-influenced to some degree or another. I don't think I'm 100% convinced I would jump to the "Dylanesque" tag, on this album at least. But, there are some lyrical moments I enjoy: "Lost in the middle, but I kept my shuffle/Stuck in the Blues, but I just kept jokin'/In the city where all schemes are tested/So many names, so many numbers/So much to do, but I never felt so lonely" ("Lost In The Shuffle") and "I stopped a freight train with a grain of sand/Can't you hear it crashing?/I split a mountain in two with a flake of snow/Still they won't believe me" ("Let's Go Dancing") are two examples.
Rediscover this disc...it's a pretty cool ride.
Around The Block Again
Fly Me Courageous
Look What You've Done To Your Brother
Let's Go Dancing
Lost In The Shuffle
Build A Fire
Labels: Drivin N Cryin