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Galea: Theo's Drive In

Galea: Theo's Drive In

Alternative/Modern Rock
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hailing from Richardson Texas, Galea is a self-proclaimed power trio featuring husband wife team Mary (b,v) and Chris (g,k,bv) Howell with Alan Doss (Galactic Cowboys) on drums. The Howells are an experienced couple having cut their teeth in Tellus, a prog rock band which released two albums in the late 1990's. Their latest incarnation is more an alternative rock creation that reflects a post-grunge motif with lots (and lots) of heavy riffing and curious melodies.

Honestly, at the onset of 'Theo's Drive In' I was hardly impressed. With the exception of 'Rescue Me,' from the beginning through 'Partition,' this disc came across as monotonous alternative rock. It seemed to be all chords and heavy riffing with subdued or zero guitar solos. Even Mary Howell's vocals were so even to be forgettable. But 'Rescue Me' gained my interest: intensely more accessible as heavy melodic rock. Mary's vocals were more passionate and believable, but there was still no real guitar magic. However, my perceptions would begin to change in the latter half of the album.

With 'Seventy Three' Galea really began to impress me: it's basic down-tuned alt rock, but Chris Howell gives you a true guitar solo, and it's pretty darn good. After this comes 'Split' where Chris attempts lead vocals which is a huge mistake (let your wife handle this, please). Yet, the arrangement is much more creative sounding like a blend of alternative rock and doom rock. But the real highlight is Chris's metal-like guitar solo. 'Pressure Desert' is much like 'Rescue Me' being accessible heavy melodic rock. Following this is 'Lift Me Up' which, for me, is possibly the best cut on the album. It's another heavy melodic rocker with a great melody, an awesome vocal arrangement, and a phenomenal hard rock guitar solo. Unfortunately, after the ambitious acoustic piece 'Departure' where Mary truly shines, the album closes on the downside with the dull piece 'Beyond.'

In the end, Galea's 'Theo's Drive In' is an ambitious alt rock venture from Chris and Mary Howell, a talented and creative musical couple. However, the listener needs to be patient and sift through this album to find their best stuff, most of which comes in the second half. I did so (and I'm a cautious fan of modern alternative rock) and was pleasantly surprised.

In Short

In the end, Galea's 'Theo's Drive In' is an ambitious alt rock venture from Chris and Mary Howell, a talented and creative musical couple. However, the listener needs to be patient and sift through this album to find their best stuff, most of which comes in the second half. I did so (and I'm a cautious fan of modern alternative rock) and was pleasantly surprised.

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