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Driving East - The Future of the Free World is Riding... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 7.75
Lyrics 7.25
Production 8.5
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 83%
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Inside AP.net

Driving East - The Future of the Free World is Riding...

Reviewed by: DI Pistola (01/09/08)
Driving East - The Future of the Free World is Riding on This One
Record Label: The Militia Group
Release date: January 15, 2008 (digital), February 26, 2008 (physical)


You’re standing in an airport terminal, heart jack-hammering the back of your dry throat. You’ve only seen her twice in three years. Both times were pure magic, but bittersweet, ending only as they’d just begun. But both times left you wondering if there was more to her than just a weekend. Both times you hoped. This time though, she’s coming for what’s supposed to be a formal, full-length visit. Her flight number crackles over the PA. Would the chemistry be the same? Or is she best only in small doses? The passengers are disembarking. You fight the burning urge to cut and run to spare yourself the disappointment. And there she is, at the top of the escalator.

It’s been a long time coming, but does that mean Driving East’s first full-length album was worth the wait? At worst, it’s another EP, albeit with seven songs (“Come on, Come On,” “Back Seat,” and “Blue Eyes” are all identical recordings from an earlier EP) whose lyrics—and I’ll be the first to admit—are not particularly good (“Baby” and “Back Seat” being the most notable offenders). At best though, you’ll find that Driving East have saved their strongest material for this release and woven it nonstop between 34 minutes of killer hooks and pump-your-fist melodies. While they managed to salvage the pitiful length of the album through that heightened sense of reckless and frenzied determination in the title track “Hey,” and then again in arguably their best song yet, “Somebody Get Me Out of Here,” this emotion becomes the album’s true saving grace in the appropriate closing summery “Away,” which has Driving East teaming up in the studio with a small children’s choir for the bridge to help reiterate, “We are the kids who won’t stop believing / We are the kids no one can ignore.” The end result is powerful, as the choir is a perfect closing to the “don’t go down without a fight” themes throughout the record, but it also goes woefully underused. This is not to say that The Future of the Free World should have been renamed The Driving East Children’s Chorus, but rather the band should have given the barely audible choir more than eight seconds behind the microphone.

For a band who has done little more than tease fans with maddeningly short EPs for almost three years, alluding to the “future of the free world” riding on “this one” in the title of their debut album suggests that Driving East are well aware that things have taken a little longer than anticipated. “Sing While You Can” and “Somebody Get Me Out of Here” are proof of this, hinting of certain injustices not by the female hand. Furthermore, they seem too resigned to the fact that sometimes not even the most hardworking of bands are destined for greatness. The Future of the Free World is Riding on This One isn’t about a band crying ‘unfair’ in their lager. Rather all this time seems to have made them understand and respect that regardless of their level of fame, making music is still a gift, one to be shared and enjoyed. Be it with a girl, or with an album, time can be enjoyed in any measure, as soon as you stop measuring it. Don’t fear the short and sweet.

Bottom LineShort and sweet. Length notwithstanding, this is an inspiring full-length debut and every bit deserving to be a mainstay in any pop-punk fan’s collection. While it’s still hard to not feel a bit taken with only seven new songs, and a few lackluster lyrics, The Future of the Free World is Riding on This One is still immensely satisfying, and quite likely every bit the awesome Driving East full-length debut I hoped it’d be.

Recommended if You LikeCartel, Hit the Lights, Take This to Your Grave, bands that deserve more attention, meaningful intimacy in the back seat of a car

LinksAP.net Profile | Website | MySpace | Buy on iTunes
 
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
01:43 AM on 01/18/08
#2
Mattx
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Quote:
You’re standing in an airport terminal, heart jack-hammering the back of your dry throat. You’ve only seen her twice in three years. Both times were pure magic, but bittersweet, ending only as they’d just begun. But both times left you wondering if there was more to her than just a weekend. Both times you hoped. This time though, she’s coming for what’s supposed to be a formal, full-length visit. Her flight number crackles over the PA. Would the chemistry be the same? Or is she best only in small doses? The passengers are disembarking. You fight the burning urge to cut and run to spare yourself the disappointment. And there she is, at the top of the escalator.

Love the intro, but I disagree with your conclusion. For me this third lengthier instalment was in fact disappointing compared to the EPs. I had such high hopes for this band after the recent disappointments of Cartel's latest album and the Hit The Lights vocalist leaving the band, which made the mediocrity of this album even worse.

Just to clarify though, this isn't a bad album, but it just isn't as good as it could have been.
12:22 AM on 01/20/08
#3
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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Just to clarify though, this isn't a bad album, but it just isn't as good as it could have been.

Just out of curiosity, what exactly were you hoping for?
12:57 AM on 04/10/09
#4
artdavidson
Swim against the current.
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Quote:
Meaningful intimacy in the back seat of a car

Yeah, if you're age 6 & on your way to play in the ball pit at McDonalds.

Hit The Lights? LOL

Last word.
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