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Driver: Sons Of Thunder
Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The appearance of Rob Rock's Driver has been along time coming. The material on 'Sons Of Thunder' dates back to a well-circulated five song EP from 1990 that never reached the light of day. Grunge hit the mainstream and melodic rock and metal of Driver's type was essentially musica non gratis. Fortunately, hope, persistence and good music can outlast most any momentary fad or trend. Coupled with seven additional new songs, Rock, with the aid of veteran producer and guitarist Roy Z, give us an album that reminds of the past, yet still sounds fresh and exciting almost 20 years later.

The strength of this album lies in several things. First, this has to be Rob Rock's finest performance in a long time: his voice simply fits each song, always accurate and never over extended. Second, Roy Z displays both sound and skillful fret work. In other words (listen up fledgling guitarists), his fundamentals are solid and so allows for genuine creativity. Finally, though hardly novel, the song composition is tight and steady allowing all musicians to excel in their parts. With these notes, some of the best songs on this work are: 'Fly Away,' strong vocals and a great solo; 'Hearts On Fire,' strong rhythm section and keyboard influence; 'Change Of Heart,' good melodic rock ballad; and, 'Winds Of March,' great melodic metal with a fast pace and brilliant fret work.

Overall, Driver's 'Sons Of Thunder' is an exceptional work. To some this may seem dated; but if I look beyond my shores, I see that bands around the world are still pursing this same rich melodic rock and metal genre. This should encourage them and encourage all of us. Highly recommended!

In Short

Rob Rock's Driver has been a long time coming, nearly 20 years. But it's been worth the wait. Teaming up with producer/guitarist Roy Z, Rock's Driver delivers fundamental and satisfying melodic hard rock with a metal edge at times. Good stuff!

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