Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Last Drive - Underworld Shakedown

The 80's were a wonderful time for rock'n'roll, believe it or not, as musicians from all around the
world revolted against the revolting pap that dominated the airwaves during the decade. The garage scene was particularly strong and groups the world over participated, even in the ancient isle of Greece!

The Last Drive consisted of Alex K on voice/bass, George and Nick on guitars and Chris B.I. on drums and they made a name for themselves with their own brand of noisy garage, as evidenced in this debut, Underworld Shakedown. Opening with a twisted surf-y instrumental ("Me 'N My Wings"), they then move into more of their own sound with the moody take on the 60's, "Valley of Death". Alex fires up "Poison", that drives somewhat frantically with reverbed guitar licks, fuzz feedback and appropriate shrieks. Continuing with their love for surf, they blast through "Misirlou" before an echo-drenched original, "This Fire Inside", another rocker with more slick guitar lines. A sublime highlight is their overload of feedback on "Blue Moon", sounding like the Dream Syndicate and the Velvet Underground on acid producing a soundtrack for a David Lynch movie! This is really pretty goddam awesome and has to be heard to be believed! Fantastic!

Turn over the LP and you get the staccato-riffed "Sidewalk Stroll", a Link Wray-ish bit of (mostly) instrumental noir before the more traditional garage-stylings of "The Shade of Fever". There's a "Bad Little Woman" vibe to the slower, keyboard-laden "Every Night", complete with dynamics and their own crunchy guitars and then the Drive do a fierce take on the classic "Night of the Phantom". More wondrous, cacophonous noise and feedback dominate "Repulsion", even as it becomes a cool, simple, drivin' tune.

Really terrific and original sounding album and band. Well worth searching out!