JUNKYARD DRIVE – Black Coffee (2018)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

Hard rockers JUNKYARD DRIVE delivered one of the best debuts of 2017 for us, and now the Danish combo are back with a new CD titled “Black Coffee“.
Mixing the classic sleazy-hard rock of 1990 Guns N’ Roses with a bit of Skid Row, plus a modern approach akin Crazy Lixx, Hardcore Superstar or King Lizard, this new album from JUNKYARD DRIVE kills.

This band from Copenhagen has done it again. “Black Coffee” is a fantastic collection of songs very well written, performed and produced, a fantastic listening experience as a mature and modern musical take on their given style.
The boys grew musically. JUNKYARD DRIVE’s music is no longer so obviously ’80s based, and has developed a sleazy sound for this day and age. From start to finish, this is a terrific listen.

Opening track “Time is Over” start off as nearly a ballad, it isn’t until 45 seconds in that it blows up into a killer hard rocker. It does hammer the guitars with a great riff and a great chorus. “Sweet Little Dreamer” begins as more classic rock, and moves into a nice sleazy rock tune, plenty of melody.
I do love the vocals as performed by Kristian Johansen. He offers a perfect combination of pitch and enthusiasm combined with the guitar sound. “Sucker For Your Love” has a great guitar line that pops up then disappears again. The line develops the tune, then fades for awhile until reintroduced for great effect.
Meanwhile, “Make Up Your Mind” has a really cool Indigenous meets Gregorian chant threading its way through the song.

“Backseat Baby” recalls the aggressive ’80s feel of the band’s first album, hot hard rocker with a catchy chorus. Track six “Way Too Long” is a full-on acoustic power ballad, really well arranged, the kind of tune that would have sold millions in 1989.
I note something interesting about “Through The Door.” There’s a serious Page / Plant Stairway To Heaven vibe to the very gentle acoustic opening. Johansen‘s vocals seem quite different here. And then there is an unexpected electric chord which permeates the acoustic line, and develops into something a little more surprising.

I hear a little Deep Purple in the opening to “Same Old Story” and the way this track is put together. I love how Junkyard Drive transition from that into something very much more like a modernized sleazy tune.
“Where I Belong” is in the same vein, as a great little ditty with a solid chorus.

JJUNKYARD DRIVE - Black Coffee (2018) inside

Finally, closing the album is the aptly named “See You Next Time” — a three minute instrumental with a ton of feel and passion. I like this addition, where a band can riff on an idea, think it out, and each instrument has a showcase.

There’s an old rock adage that says it takes a band its entire lifetime to write its first record, and then the “sophomore slump” happens because of restricted timelines, touring schedules and outside creative pressures.
Not the case with JUNKYARD DRIVE and “Black Coffee”. This is a killer record, equally good as the first one, more mature and elaborated, but kick @ss as well.
It helps a lot the crisp production of, currently, the Danish king of rock producers Soren Andersen, widely known from his work with bands such as Mike Tramp, Glenn Hughes, Electric Guitars, et all.

01 – Time Is Over
02 – Sweet Little Dreamer
03 – Sucker for Your Love
04 – Make up Your Mind
05 – Backseat Baby
06 – Way Too Long
07 – Through the Door
08 – Same Old Story
09 – Wasted Nights
10 – Where I Belong
11 – See You Next Time

Kristian Johansen – Lead and backing vocals
Birk – Lead guitar and backing vocals
Ben Høyer – Rhythm guitar and backing vocals
Claus Munch – Drums and percussions
Tim Meldal – Bass and backing vocals


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