1000 Yard Stare

doubleDrive

MCA Records, 1999

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/doubleDrive

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/06/1999

I know it has to drive some bands bonkers to have their hard-earned work compared to other groups who have been around, even for only a short time. Sometimes, the comparison is not flattering; other times, it's meant as a high compliment.

Take Atlanta-based Doubledrive, for instance. Their sound reminds me a lot of Creed, only with a harder edge to their music. Their debut album 1000 Yard Stare (to be released August 17th) should take the rock scene by storm - and you might find this one hard to take out of the CD player.

The band - vocalist/guitarist Donnie Ray Hamby, guitarist Troy MxLawhorn, bassist Joshua Sattler and drummer Mike Froedge - pack an immense sonic whallop that can be heard almost from the outset of this album. My advance copy doesn't tell me who produced this gem (and I don't seem to have the bio handy - I'm a little bit behind sorting them), but they pull an absolutely brilliant sound out. Froedge's drums are the crispest sounding instances of trap work I've heard in years.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Thrilling, you say, he's impressed with the drum sound. How's about the rest of the music? Patience, grasshopper, we're getting to that. Doubledrive seems to have already mastered the art of songwriting, with tracks such as "Dressed In Light," "Tattooed Bruise," "Hell" and the title track all shining brightly on this disc. It sometimes seems impossible that a four-piece is wringing all this sound out of their instruments, but they are indeed. Simply put, it's a tour de force.

Oh, it's not that there aren't one or two speed bumps along the way (I wasn't impressed with "Vamp," for instance - too slow for my tastes), but 1000 Yard Stare is the kind of album that makes you forget most of the minor mistakes very quickly. And, seeing that this is a very young band, it makes me think that they haven't yet reached the pinnacle of their talent or success.

All this said, there is one thing about 1000 Yard Stare that is incredibly annoying. The final track, a cover of Wall Of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio," is hidden by some 70-plus tracks featuring five seconds of silence. I don't have that much free time to piss away, and it would have been better to just have the damn song play right after "Standby" finished. (I swear, the next record company executive who okays this stupid stunt, I'm going to strangle them with my bare hands.)

It has been said that Doubledrive's live show is absolutely incredible. If this is true, it should take the material on 1000 Yard Stare and make it that much better. For now, though, this is a powerful enough product to keep me occupied for a while. If you like Creed or bands of that ilk, you'll want to be waiting outside the doors of Best Buy when this sucker is released.

Rating: B+

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MCA Records, and is used for informational purposes only.