(7/10) Mother Road is the successful result of an US/German cooperation. It was singer Keith Slack (Steelhouse Lane & Michael Schenker Group) from Austin, Texas and guitarist Chris Lyne (also Soul Doctor) from Berlin, Germany who had the idea to start with Mother Road. And it seems that it was a fruitful collaboration.
The band is completed by drummer Zacky Tsoukas, Frank Binke at the four strings and last but not least the almost omnipresent Alessandro Del Vecchio on the keyboard.
What the band does, is bringing you back in time. It's a road into the history of rock. This has to do with the sound of Mother Road. The band is highly influneced by classic rock bands like Deep Purple ("Feather in your hat" and "Dirty little secret") or Whitesnake ("Poor boy" and "Blue eyes"). I wouldn't say that they are a copycat of those bands, but sometimes there are quite many parallels existing, which aren't by coincidence. The only time they have gone too far is "These shoes" and "Dangerous highways". The first mentioned track makes use of all Whitesnake trademarks you can imagine and shows no own identy at all. This wasn't necessary since they can write btter songs. Mother Road proof it on this record. "Dangerous highway" almost copies in the beginning "Child in time" and "Perfect strangers" from Purple. Fortunatelly the rest of the song gets a bit more personality.
I was surprised how much the voice of Keith sounds like Ian Gillan or David Coverdale. Sometimes I had the feeling that I could hear one of them singing. But it was Slack, who was behind the mic.
Next to those classic hardrockers the album also has partly some Southern Rock influences which come back in tunes like "The sun will shine again" - the opener of the album. But also the slower "Drive me crazy" reflects this. Based on a rocking riff the song it's the organ and the vocals which give this track an own identy. The song I like most on the album is "Still raining". It's a piano based blues song, which partly shows some references to Gary Morre in his blues period. This goes mainly for the guitar of Chris Lyne. Also the hammond solo from Del Vecchio half way is excellent and pushes you back in time.
"Drive" became a good and solid rock album. The music is not really new and inventive, but the songs are well done and excellent perfomened. A clear seven for Mother Road. Not more, but also not less.
- The sun will shine again
- Feather in your hat
- Drive me crazy
- Out of my mind
- These shoes
- Dangerous highway
- Poor boy (long way out)
- Dirty little secret
- Blue eyes
- Still raining
- On my way
Label: AOR Heaven