The Drive Back - AutumnMotive EP
Release Date: N/A
Record Label: Orange Bett
It’s not often that I get a CD in the mail that is this good, and that’s including all the stuff I get sent from well-established, big-label bands. The Drive Back’s AutumnMotive EP is without a doubt one of the best EPs I’ve heard all year, if not the best. Where the hell these guys came from, I have no idea—but that is irrelevant. What matters is that The Drive Back has created a stunning, six-song EP that is bound to place them at the front of the modern emo rock movement. Bold words, I know; the EP speaks for itself.
Make no doubt about it: The Drive Back sounds very much like Copeland. With warm, lightly distorted guitars and smooth vocals that gracefully slip between octaves and falsettos, the comparison is easy to make. I’m sure the band will be labeled as a “Copeland rip-off” by many, mainly due to the striking vocal similarities and melodies, but please don’t let that fool you into thinking that the band isn’t original at all. As a whole, the EP contains more energy, faster tempos, more key changes, and more, better harmonies than the aforementioned band. So, if you ever wished that Copeland would speed things up a bit, this is the band for you. The vocal harmonies on the AutumnMotive EP are simply orgasmic—they are to die for. The beginnings of songs such as “Be the Same” and “Roulette” (my two favorite on the EP—definitely check them out) contain multiple layers of harmonies that can be best described as what bursting rainbows might sound like. Yep.
When I first put the EP in my stereo, I didn’t really have much of a clue as to what I should expect. Usually, most CDs I get sent come with some lame bio talking about how amazing the band is, what bands the members were in before their current one, what bands they sound like/are inspired by, etc., etc—and they’re usually just full of bullshit. Well, The Drive Back’s EP didn’t come with anything, so I really didn’t know what style of music they might play or how good they would sound (though I had a hunch that it was emo/pop punk, simply because of the name). As soon as the first couple songs were done, I had to play them again, just to make sure what I was hearing was for real—the songs were remarkably mature, and everything sounded extremely good production-wise, especially for a band I had never heard of. I played them again and I hadn’t just been hearing things (pun intended, sort of): the band was for real.
The EP is introduced by “Know Where You Are,” a slow, full band, acoustic-based song, complete with strings and subtle electronic programming (not to mention lots of wonderful harmonies). As soon as the song fades out, the palm muted guitars and vocal layers of “Be the Same” smack you in the face and prepare you for the rock that is to come. From there on, the EP treats you with beautiful melodies and interesting, tasteful backing music: “Roulette” contains a delightful chorus that changes rhythms/has the guitars cut out when you least expect it; “The Taste” starts out very much like U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” but adds its own twist with stereo-panned back-and-forth guitars and an “odd” chord that resolves just beautifully; “Ambulance” revolves around a really cool, sometimes almost technical main guitar riff. Just as “Know Where You Are” gently introduced us to the band, “Bright Sky Silhouette” finishes out the EP with another song much like the first, providing a calm, peaceful closing.
If you are at all a fan of Copeland, Daphne Loves Derby, or This Day & Age, please do yourself a favor and check out The Drive Back—I promise that you will like this band. If I’m wrong, I’ll give you scene points, or something.