Jeff Scott Soto is such a great person, having had the pleasure to meet him personally. So, when word came out about Animal Drive and how JSS introduced upstart vocalist and fellow T.S.O. alumni Dino Jelusic to Frontiers, the hard rock radar in your author's head started ringing. The debut album "Bite!" has proven JSS's taste is never in question, as Animal Drive truly takes a "Bite!" out of the hard rock world with a highly entertaining release.
Hard rock has seen such an overwhelming resurgence in the last ten years, with so many talented new acts out for blood. The youth invigoration seems to have inspired the old generation to the point where nearly every month a few bands from the past resurface for a new album or tour. Wait...maybe that is entirely Serafino Perugino's doing as the "Italian Coachella." Leading the hard rock game by a country mile is Perugino's Frontiers Music by gobbling up new talent, marrying super groups and convincing old greats out of retirement.
With Animal Drive, its all about raw talented youth. Fronted by the energetic Jelsuic, with vocal diversity not seen in some of the world's best (kind of the uber Coverdale), Animal Drive shows the world why hard rock has become the most consistently great subgenre. "Less is more" - so just through good songwriting, good musicianship and good old rock 'n' roll, Animal Drive proves that music doesn't have to be so complicated. Emotive solos, hard edged riffs via Ivan Keller and punchy rhythm via Rokindja Nikolic and Adrian Boric puts a jolt in tracks like "Tower of Lies," "Lights of the Damned," "Had Enough" and the bluesy "Devil Took My Beer Again."
The album was produced by Dino Jelusic and Andreas Sala and there is just enough grit on the superb mix and sound to safely categorize "Bite!" as metallic. Its that crunch that elevates this from typical rock and the band hammers that point on every note.
Highly impressive debut from this talented Croatian upstart, which should garner attention from fans of Eclipse, Skid Row and, of course, Whitesnake - without being labelled a clone. Sometimes good music is just good music....and "Bite!" continues the upward trend for a subgenre that has been money for a good long time. Nothing beats ole reliable!
Label: Frontiers Music Srl (2018)
1. Goddamn Marathon
2. Tower Of Lies (I Walk Alone)
3. Had Enough
4. Hands Of Time
5. Lights Of The Damned
6. Time Machine
8. Fade Away
9. Carry On
10. Devil Took My Beer Again
11. Deliver Me