Drive, She Said: ‘Pedal to the Metal’

DRIVE, SHE SAIDDRIVESHESAID pttm COVER
PEDAL TO THE METAL
Released on April 15, 2016 (Frontiers Music Srl)

Review:
Founded in 1986, Drive, She Said released its self-titled debut in ’89, featuring the performances and writing skills of Bruce Kulick (KISS) and Canadian rocker Aldo Nova respectively. Although generally not considered successful in North America, Drive, She Said released a further two albums — Drivin’ Wheel and Excelerator – to great acclaim in Europe during the 1990s. Drive. She Said were eventually picked up by Frontiers Records, and issued Real Life in 2003. Now they’re back with a new offering, Pedal To The Metal.

If you’re into keyboard driven melodic hard rock, you will love this album. A little softer then I would like, it still elicits visions of Europe, or Denim Devils era Bonafide, except with the addition of keys. It is interesting that keyboard player Mark Mangold lists working with Michael Bolton as one of his past performance accomplishments. I can certainly hear that in ballads such as “Said It All” and “In Your Arms” from the musical composition down to the tone of the synths. “All I Wanna Do” is your classic acoustic soft song.

Lead off track “Touch” is a hard driver, and the title track “Pedal To The Metal” is classic ’80s.  Think a teen movie from that era with Tom Cruise driving down a sunny highway in a Camaro convertible. It even has an epic sing along chorus. “In R Blood” is mostly uninteresting, but redeems itself in the chorus, again with a catchy hook. “Love Will Win In the End” is notable for its Whitesnake rhythm guitar lines, and “Lost In You” stomps along. “Writing On The Wall” is clearly Deep Purple style with Jon Lord‘s Hammond organ work in the solo. It’s pretty good. Drive. She Said seem to experiment a little with “Im the Nyte” bringing out an industrial/techno/dance groove that I think works for the most part.

I keep coming back to the songs’ choruses. They have catchy lines with memorable hooks. I didn’t know much about Drive, She Said before popping in Pedal To The Metal, but this band reminds me quite a bit of Treat’s Ghosts Of Graceland.  Same style of melodic hard rock. If you’re into that, Drive She Said‘s Pedal To The Metal is worth a listen.

Track List:
01. Touch
02. Pedal To The Metal
03. In ‘R Blood
04. Said It All
05. Writing On The Wall
06. Rainbows And Hurricanes
07. Love Will Win In The End
08. Rain Of Fire
09. In Your Arms
10. Im The Nyte
11. Lost In You
12. All I Wanna Do

Band Members:
Al Fritsch – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, background vocals
Mark Mangold – keyboards, background vocals

Additional Musicians:
Tommy Denander – guitar
Daniel Palmqvist – guitar
Jon Bivona – guitar
Ray De Tone – guitar
Ricky Wheels – guitar
Ken Sandin – bass
Paul St. James – bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio – bass
Pontus Engborg – drums
Peter Yttergren – drums
Francesco Jovino – drums
Kenny Aronoff – drums
Goran Edman – background vocals
Chandler Mogel – background vocals
Ted Poley – background vocals
Kevin Osborne – background vocals
Randy Jackson – background vocals
James Jackson – background vocals
Kevin Osborne – background vocals
Thomas Vikstrom – background vocals
Peppy Castro – background vocals
Kayvon Zand – vocals (10)
Fiona – vocal duet with Al Fritsch (9)

Band Websites:
Frontiers Music Srl

Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, April 2016