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  Introducing: DRIVE (EP)
Artist: Mike Lee/DRIVE
Label: Indie
Length: 11:06 and counting.....(3 tracks - 4 "hidden" tracks)

Ok who is Drive? What is Drive? Where are we driving to? "Drive" is the new pseudonym taken by Mr. Mike Lee of Barren Cross fame. In an effort to both recreate and distance himself from his metal roots, Mike Lee has identified a singular expressive that sums up what he's about: Drive.

For those expecting a metal resurgence, sorry. What is here, though, is a passionate, creative, clever, and sometimes melancholy journey through the land of European pop, as Mr. Drive now lives in France. So how does a Los Angeleno Christian Metalhead become a French popstar? I don’t have the answer, but let me tell you this much: the EP is great.

Production is topnotch, which is a big surprise since it was recorded in a refurbished Winnebago that is now a rolling Euro-studio. In terms of power and range, the voice is still 100% Mike Lee, although it is its maturity in terms of expression and style that wins you over. Like a good guitar player, Drive knows when to step up, say his thing, and step out to better serve the song.

“Show Them What Your Made of” is an anthem of sorts, fun in its vocal style, yet serious in terms of lyrical content. It basically says we are in this thing together. It is almost Beatlesque in its structure and delivery.

“Unsuspecting” is more of a pop rocker and again, Drive switches gears in terms of vocal style. The track’s production and effects are pretty wet but the voice carries the song as well as the story line behind it, which is in a sense a warning to increase our everyday awareness.

“Please Forgive Me” is a dance mix that parlez-vous français all over the place. No, he's not singing in French (although I hear he can) but it does feel like spending the night in a foreign discotheque. At first I wasn't sure what to think about the track, because rockers like me aren't supposed to like that kind of stuff, but the quality of production and his passionate delivery just sort of sucked me in.

Of course, there are still a few surprises in the four more hidden tracks. One that’s a lot of fun was a remix of the love song that featured the frustrated tirade of a lonely truck driver.

Drive is currently shopping his EP around LA and is soon headed back to Europe to continue his quest for a record and management deal. All people interested can get the CD (as well as an acoustic CD recorded under his birth nam) at his website: www.DriveLive.com.

Steven Urenda (Pink) 11/11/2002


 
 
 
 

 

   
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