SHUT UP & DRIVE – Control (1997) out of print
Yesterday we featured here the debut album from American Melodic Hard Rockers SHUT UP & DRIVE, and now here’s the also requested sophomore release “Control”. Despite of being recorded & released in 1997 in the midst the grunge era, not only SHUT UP & DRIVE maintained their ’80-style feel-good vibe but also the impressive quality production sound.
The songs in “Control” still retains that classic US melodic hard rock spirit of the first album, with an augmented bluesy hard rock style. The SKID ROW similarities of some parts of the first album are replaced by a ‘mature TESLA / EXTREME’ approach here, plus some ’90s NIGHT RANGER, HURRICANE, etc.
“Control” not only is strong for its very good production and songwriting, but also the players. The singer has that clean yet powerful voice needed for this genre, and the lead guitarist is second to none. Seriously, his chops are similar to Nuno Bettencourt or George Lynch.
Overall, “Control” is even better than the band’s debut, more complete.
Is ‘Mad World’ written by EXTREME? No, but this heavy funky catchy tune sounds like Chereone & co. and the awesome guitar work is pure Bettencourt. And there’s a nice surprise at the end of the song, which is chained with next song, the awesome midpaced rocker ‘Welcome To The Family’, bringing to mind late ’80s ICON.
‘Sieve’ is a delicious AORish tune mixing acoustics with electrics (some TYKETTO here), then ‘Passion’ is the best song HURRICANE never wrote. With ‘Queen Of Silence’ the classy US melodic hard sound returns, also in the joyful ‘Day By Day’.
‘Butter’ bring more TESLA like stuff, a song with lots of musicality and busy instrumentation. Again, the guitar work is excellent, multi-track recorded and really well mixed, confirming the engineering on this album is top notch, like a major label release.
‘Over My Head’ bring to mind a certain Mr. BIG song from the same time, however Chris Humphreys’ vocals are rapier than Eric Martin. The melodies / harmonies are excellent anyway. ‘Dogbite’ closes with biting guitar riffs and a refrain / chorus that couldn’t have been out of of place into ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ soundtrack.
We can’t recommend enough SHUT UP & DRIVE – their first album and this “Control’ – you will be pleasantly surprised. Grab this really good US Melodic Hard Rock album and thanks us later. It’s that good.
01 – Railroad Song
02 – Mad World
03 – Welcome To The Family
04 – Sieve
05 – Passion
06 – Queen Of Silence
07 – Day By Day
08 – Butter
09 – One
10 – Over My Head
11 – Dogbite
Chris Humphreys – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Terry Block – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Todd Richardson – Bass, Vocals
Jim Newman – Drums, Vocals
out of print