With the influx of hard-rock screeching bands in music
these days, sometimes their more melodic, song-based compatriots get the
short end of the stick. Case in point: The Graham Colton Band.
If they came out around ten years ago with bands like Green Day, Counting
Crows, Soul Asylum, Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul, Toad the Wet Sprocket and
Matthew Sweet, they would have been huge. Instead, they are out on the
road trying to drum up a following for their tight, guitar-based alt-rock
Drive is one of
those classic guitar pop albums that are just tailor-made for cruising down
a highway in a bitchin' convertible, stereo booming. The musicianship
and the songcraft are tight as a cheerleader's sweater and Colton's voice is
a sturdy pop instrument. I hope they find it.
The guitar pop onboard is not trying to reinvent the
wheel, and that's okay. With songs like the jangly "Don't Give Up On Me"
and the tormented folk-rock of "Morning Light" sound instantly familiar and
yet at the same time wonderfully unique. "First Week" is another
sparkling pop tune which has every necessary element to become a surprise
hit like "Stacy's Mom" was last year. "Cigarette" also skips along on
a catchy guitar line with focus and force. He can also get
introspective on the sweetly pretty "Killing Me."
Colton and his band's pounding tales of love gone bad
are a pretty good antidote for the bad affairs that inspire many of the
songs on this solid debut album. Just rip up her picture, grab a beer
and play this LOUD.