Sunday, February 10, 2008

Side Seat Driver - People

Hear The Track Here

When it comes to yer actual rock, I have to say I prefer the English variety (especially when it comes to Heavy Metal) but nonetheless have a special place for rock that can only have come from one other country; America. America, home of the mad axeman, the screaming vocals and big, big hair. Stretching back to the Golden Age, Side Seat Driver plumbs some obvious rock influences but they still manage to come up with something fresh, dirty and (God forbid) musically exciting. A particularly hard trick to pull off, let me tell you, when faced with an old rock warhorse like your reviewer. Remember, I saw most of this stuff first hand when it was happening all those years ago. ANY band is going to have to go some to keep me amused.

Chris Bishop (he who must be obeyed at POP/Popspace) has this as his choice this month and he knows full well how picky I can be (especially about rock) and - bless him - he's picked a winner again. In style, People is the bastard child of 1970's era Doors, crossed with large helpings of speed metal and gonzo rock. Looks like nothing in print but if you know your rock, you'll know that sounds like a very unlikely combination. It is, but by God it certainly does the trick in the 'lets stun my ears' stakes. Classic rock that sounds exactly how you would expect - in an American stylee.

The Doors influence comes through in a couple of ways, in the lyrical structure and flow of the peice and in the vocalists voice which has definite echoes of our Jim lad. The song though, is thoroughly slap-bang up to date though, an amazing cross between the rock styles I have described above. For me, whenever I see the term Classic Rock, or Hard Rock as this one is, I expect songs with meaning, intelligence and an audio fidelity that lets the guitars do their thing ie blowing yer ears off. People has all of that and more. Rock of the very best kind; red meat for a starving populace.

MUST HAVE hard rock.

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