Drive In Saturday is a familiar name to everyone in the Exeter music scene by now, especially amongst students. They’re a band I’ve personally seen a number of times. The energy and humour they bring to their live shows is infectious, and by the end of the set you can be sure everyone will be going bonkers. So when I came to review their self-titled debut EP, I was nervous that this stage presence wouldn’t quite translate and that Drive In Saturday’s studio efforts would end up mediocre.
The EP begins with All Right Goodnight, a mainstay of their live sets that, for me, is one of the most memorable. My nerves were quelled as the band soared into the first chorus, and removed completely during the climatic outro. Just Trying, the second track, continues on a similar line with a classic rock sound complemented by the smooth and powerful vocals of charismatic frontman, Henry. This is followed with Crossroads, a track that begins far more slow, chilled, and quiet than Drive In Saturday’s preferred mode. Here, the band prove their dynamic range and control with an interesting structure, featuring multiple build-ups, and sudden shifts in pace and volume. The next song, Video, feels to me like a culmination of all these elements from the previous songs. It feels like an incredibly tight and controlled guitar-driven track, but has a slightly chaotic flair that brings it to the next level. It even features a delicious half-minute guitar solo. What’s not to like?
Keyboard player, Ben, comes to the fore in the final studio track of the EP, leading its melody. By far the slowest, most chilled tune, Empty Triumph provides a welcome break from the bordering-on-fury of the previous songs – a break I’d guess is almost necessary for a breather during gigs. And speaking of gigs, the EP closes with a song recorded live at Timepiece. Town Of Red gives a taster of just how tight Drive In Saturday sound live and how big their sound is.
Like I said, I was a little apprehensive with this EP, wondering how well their high standard of live performance would carry over to the studio. Drive In Saturday have impressed me yet again, pushing out a tight, well put-together EP that showcases their wide range of talents while highlighting their strengths. If you haven’t already seen them live, I would urge you to go before it’s too late.
Sound good? Buy Drive In Saturday’s EP here.