Grand Drive

Grand Drive

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The English four-piece Grand Drive takes note from its alt-country counterparts (Wilco, Whiskeytown) and derives a sun-soaked Americana sound all its own on the band's self-titled U.S. debut. Grand Drive, which marks the quartet's first stateside release, collects 13 tracks from the group's three previous albums -- Road Music (1999), True Love and High Adventure (2000), and See the Morning In (2002) -- originally issued on BMG in the U.K., highlighting a lilting mix of soul, folk, and country. Brothers Danny and Julian Wilson are a solid musical pair; as songwriters, they're quick-witted and smart, and as musicians, they're exact and simple in shaping up classic bits of rock & roll. From the blue-eyed soul of "Needle in the Groove" to the honeyed acoustics of "Firefly," Grand Drive composes an honest, laid-back sound. Fiddles shyly chime throughout the bittersweet "A Little Like You," while "Sleepy" captures slow dancin' with classic '60s soul-pop. Grand Drive makes its biggest rock effort yet on "Tell It Like It Is." Like the majority of the album, its piano-driven, feel-good classic rock sound glows with a passion similar to Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. The members of Grand Drive are earnest and pure with their craft, honing what's musically tried and true to them as a band. In the process, they recorded a pleasurable set of songs. Not bad for a bunch of Australian boys raised in London.

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