.38 Special

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Drivetrain Review

by Greg Prato

With Lynyrd Skynyrd off the road from the late '70s through the early '80s, an enormous void was created in the Southern rock genre, and such similarly styled acts as .38 Special came to the rescue. Although the group peaked during the early days of MTV ("Hold On Loosely," "Caught Up in You," etc.), .38 Special continued to issue albums, albeit on a less regular basis, throughout the '90s. But after the release of 1997's Resolution, the only new albums to surface from the band were a live set (1999's Live at Sturgis) and, quite oddly, a Christmas set (2001's A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night). By 2004, seven years had passed since their last all-new studio album, and the "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys" were finally ready to deliver a new set, Drivetrain. Surprisingly, the boys have almost completely bypassed the melodic rock approach that made hits out of the aforementioned tunes, as they've toughened up their sound considerably. In fact, it almost appears as though the group is focusing solely on winning over the biker crowd, as evidenced by the tough, almost Zeppelin-like rocker "Hurts Like Love" or from such song titles as "Haley's Got a Harley" and "Trooper With an Attitude." Not exactly what you'd expect from the same band that once supplied the theme song to the 1984 teen comedy drama Teachers.

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