By Jimmy Lloyd
The Tao of Warner Drive
Life ain't fair... it never was... and it never will be. The sooner we learn this lesson in life the better off each of us will be. We are all born with certain gifts, talents, skills and limitations and those of us self aware and honest enough with ourselves to accept these truths are usually set up to succeed in life by playing to our strengths. While we are on the topic of playing to strengths... there is a band from Los Angeles that I recently discovered called Warner Drive who's main strength seems to be their ability to make a crowd of power-chord punk-rock fans go ABSOLUTELY APESHIT !
Fronted by lead singer Jonny Law, (great name btw), who's boundless energy and unique tonal quality in his voice gives this five-some an edge among their Sunset Strip contemporaries. Law sings WD's hook-laden ditties with a confident command that does not go un-noticed. On "Viper Room"... one of Warner Drives made-to mosh hits about the famous Sunset Strip venue, one can hear shades of Sammy Hagar, Kiss and Van Halen all rolled up into Law's passionate delivery.
Let it be known.... I love this band and they can rock as good as anyone around but Warner Drive is also able to deliver insightful and meaningful power ballads without the syrupy schlock that usually accompanies many of the major label lottery winners who then do what everybody tells them to.... lest they risk the dreaded outcome of being dropped. This capability is demonstratively apparent on "Broken".... a cigarette lighter anthem for sure... reminiscent of the great power ballads of yesteryear. Warner Drive has soul and depth and originality and there is meaning to their songs. How many other bands can this be said about with a straight face ?
With their blonde and very easy-on-the-eye lead guitarist, Candice Levinson, giving cool lessons to the wannabes, Ryan Harris on rhythm guitar showing suckas how its done, Elvis James on bass, (another great name) making it look easy....and drummer Jonny U beating the skins to death... Warner Drive is one tight unit that delivers a good time to all in attendance. They will take a room full of infidels and convert them to the most die-hard fanatics halfway through their first song. If you don't believe me... head down to the Sunset Strip where they hold court and see for yourself.
Stand out tracks from Warner Drive include: Viper Room, Broken, Scarecrow, Faking Smile and KGO.