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Jesse Wilde & The Drive - EP Review: Ghost Town Road

29 Apr 2016 // A review by Andrew Smit

The song, and indeed the whole EP Ghost Town Road, instantly transports you to an American heartland that is full of genuine rock and blues music full of emotive soul and meaning. Each song on this EP is full of catchy melodies and wonderful lyrics, while most are upbeat rhythmic pop songs they are all full of meaning and purpose, like the beautiful story of Juliet's Fallen, set to wonderful piano by multi-instrumentalist Stephen Small, the song sounds so smooth and powerful, and yet it also reminds you of a song you've heard before, maybe something that Bob Seger or John Mellencamp would have produced in their heyday.

Songwriter and lead vocalist Jesse Wilde sings with an unashamedly American twang and the songs subject matters are very "American" but Jesse is clearly a singer songwriter that enjoys telling a story and while the influence and passion of his musical universe is always evident due to the "southern" rock blues feel that is conjured up in spades, the songs stories sound real and your taken to a place that we all can imagine from some mid-western movie. Jesse is clearly a story teller who pours his heart into his songs not just with his performance but his narratives are so down to earth and yet meaningful, it is such a rare quality today where songs are either over the top political nonsense or just so simple it's not worth repeating. You don't have to listen to the songs twice to get into the meaning of the song but on repeated listening your able to appreciate the meaning and the music evermore so, and they are a treat to hear.

The riff and cool guitar licks on Magdalyn lead you to a chorus that hooks you in and you can't stop yourself singing along. Honey has a solid blues vibe and another story that keeps you intrigued, and Monica is a cheeky and fun tale that over time unveils a more deeper meaning. The music performed by the band The Drive is impressive and the recording is crisp and precise while still sounding honest and live. The compositions are rich and textured with multiple guitars played by Jesse and Mark Collier while the aforementioned Stephen Small plays Bass, Piano, Organ and Keyboards, Drums are deftly provided by Henrik Rylev, and the many wonderful backing vocal arrangements are beautifully sung by Sharon Emirali. 

The EP finishes with the dreamy Fallin' which sounds like the songwriter has written and sung straight from the heart and has truly fallen in love, a song for everyone, I hope, that has paused at some point and said hang on I think I've fallen in love, and there is a good chance many will do the same with the music of Jesse Wilde & The Drive too

 

About Jesse Wilde & The Drive

Jesse Wilde & The Drive, a five-piece Auckland based band delivers catchy, southern-tinged rock with great passion and stadium confidence.

Lead singer Jesse Wilde was formerly the front man for folk-rockers Acoustic Attitude, a prominent ‘90s band regularly packing the house at the legendary Auckland venue, The Gluepot. Wilde’s gravelly voice – which is reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen’s for sheer power and emotion – cuts through rock tracks like a musical chainsaw.

His growing popularity continued with his next band Fiesta Drive which sounded “like the love-child of Steve Earle and Jimmy Barnes”, said NZ Musician Magazine. During his rock pilgrimage of the UK and USA, Wilde sought out and met all of his major music mentors including Bob Seger, John ‘Cougar’ Mellencamp, and Steve Earle – so it’s no coincidence that their influence oozes through his original songs and the hand-picked musicians that make up The Drive.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jesse Wilde & The Drive

Releases

Ghost Town Road
Year: 2015
Type: Album

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