Danish quintet Junkyard Drive, formed in 2014, bring us their debut long player and it has everything you can expect from a classic/sleaze rock outfit. With influences cited as Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC these guys intend to bring you classic 80s influenced rock ‘n roll with a modern twist – and they do it rather well.
I gave their 2014 Junkyard Luxury EP a listen and it’s clear that things have moved a lot further forward for the band from there. Recorded in the Medley Studios in Copenhagen, their new album Sin & Tonic houses a distinct move to a more accomplished all-round sound.
“If You Wanna Rock Me” is a perfect opener to the album and serves up a solid idea of what to expect as you plough through ten classy classic rock tracks. We’ve got all the right ingredients going on here: catchy riffs, chanting choruses and the standard song structure with guitar solo laden bridges, which means that the moments the band step outside of the safety zone, your attention is pulled back in.
The next track this really happens on is blues-heavy slow and sleazy “Natural High”. The full five-piece sound really works on a track like this where the lead and rhythm guitars are often played together to give a sonic wall of grungy guitar, backed up by luscious vocals and tidy drums.
Lyrical themes are not complex nor too bitter-sweet and dabble in staying true to one’s self, such as on shred-happy “Take It All” and faster paced “B.A.D”. I have to say I’m not overly keen on “Drama Queen” or “Stone Cold Lady” as observations on women and how they behave, but maybe that comes with the territory of sleaze rock. I’ll just go and listen to some riot grrl music for a little re-balance…
Baby-faced singer and frontman Kris has a broad vocal range and can pull off smooth ballads just as well as high energy and emotion-filled shouting. Both are put to excellent use in recent release of their superb rendition of old classic folk ballad “Geordie”,which listeners have taken rather a shine to, with over 22,000 views on YouTube in just three weeks.
Final track “Slave to Technology” takes a pop at modern-day culture and how we are too addicted to our smartphones and social media and forget how to socialise. Overall it’s a feelgood album and would not be too out of place on a summer road trip with the windows down and stereo blasting.
Junkyard Drive continue to tour in Denmark this spring with a European tour for 2017 to be announced.
Sin & Tonic is due out on February 17th