Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, ‘Songs for the Turnable’ – Album Review
By: William Clark - February 6, 2014
Southern rockers Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ have taken a creative approach when it came down to releasing new music throughout these past twelve months. Whereas some groups have fallen into a habit of releasing a new studio album every three or four years, Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ sat down with the plan of delivering four EPs similar to that of your typical magazine subscription, with each new release showcasing a different musical direction.
This bold move was something previously unheard of within the rock community, and Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ managed to pull off this seemingly momentous stylistic achievement with applaudable suppleness.
The first effort to surface as part of this quarterly release schedule was ‘Songs for the Laundromat,’ which showed the Georgian rock group returning to their country fried origins, while maintaining subtle yet apparent elements of their signature hard rock approach.
‘Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones’ would follow, and represented the members of Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s infatuation for punk rock. Continuing the revolutions on this carousel of sonic techniques was ‘Songs From the Psychedelic Time Clock,’ which showed Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ trying their hand at the progressive rock genre. After taking multiple dynamic leaps from subgenre to subgenre, for their fourth (and currently final) issue Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ are returning to the same approach first boasted on the band’s acclaimed 1991 studio album, ‘Fly Me Courageous.’
‘Songs for the Turntable’ is immediately launched forward with the light rocking “Strangers,” which shows lead vocalist Kevn Kinney falling into a familiar, strikingly Tom Petty-esque attitude, similar to that of “Sometimes the Rain (Is Just the Rain)” off of ‘Psychedelic Time Clock.’ This is followed up by the guitar driven “Turn,” a slow paced anthem which captures Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ at their collective best.
We soon reach the emotional power ballad “Roll Away the Song,” which features enjoyable cascades of acoustic guitar and a main guitar riff very much in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” “Love is the World” could comfortably pass for the second “Let’s Go Dancing” from ‘Courageous,’ with whispered vocal melodies and complimentary guitar playing serving as the backdrop to this emotional piece of auditory scenery.
The compilation is concluded on a riff oriented high note with “Jesus Christ!” This track shows Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ diving into a concentrated reservoir of testosterone fueled Rolling Stones influence, as “Sympathy for the Devil”-style harmonies soar above crashing percussion, adrenalized rhythm guitar and Kinney’s snarling lead vocals.
Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ continues to accomplish exemplary musical successes on their new studio effort, ‘Songs for the Turntable.’ Even during the moments where the band expresses creativity and introduces new elements into their original style, Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ continue to keep the end product sounding familiar. Should the members of Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ transition back into full length albums, the experience alone from trying their hands at new musical territory will ultimately play in the band’s favor, as the music they’ve released throughout these four digestible releases is amongst their best material in over two decades.