Princess Drive : 'A Welcome Alternative To Filth and Violence EP'
Somewhere (but not on this demo)Princess Drive have a line saying something like"You once thought you could change the world But now you just want to change yourself". This dichotomy is an important one in the history of rock; the angry, activist sound of bands who hate the way the world is and will not let it rest (The Clash, Miss Black America, The Specials, Kinesis) versus the endless inward looking lyrical and musical meanderings of the self obsessed, self disgusted tortured souls (Radiohead, Pink Floyd and (heresy of heresies!) some of Richey Manic's excesses).
Princess Drive know which side they fall on. From the first drum beat of first track 'This Is Not An Exit', this is obviously music that wants to make YOU want to change the world, rather than wallowing, stoned in obedience, admiring guitar solos. The whole demo has a very Clash feel to it; as another reviewer pointed out, it is very refreshing in itself to see teenagers wanting to be Joe Strummer and co rather than some dumb American 'punk' band singing about their skateboard, their ganga or their girlfriend (these people are usually heterosexual boys!). The way the singer delivers the lyrics has a certain Strummer feel to it; not just the sound of his voice but also in the passion and conviction of the performance. The spikey guitar playing and frantic drumming completes this impression, these are no tracks to sit back, relax and take the crap to! The whole sound is held together by very accomplished, slightly funky bass riffs which keep the songs moving and keep your feet tapping, providing the framework which allows for some brilliantly messy, chaotic guitar playing, which should really have been louder and more powerful in the mix. These guitars combine with the rock steady drumming to produce a sound which I'm again going to compare to the Clash, but The Clash at their most creative, circa 'Guns of Brixton', when they were at their most inspired, open to a wide spectrum of influences from around the world, but before they disappeared up the asshole of 'world music'.
So yes Princess Drive do take their heroes but more for inspiration than adulation, and apply them to the modern world. Second track "No Jail For Thought" has a Manics' era 'Holy Bible' / Nirvana 'In Utero' feel to it, while Kinesis and Miss Black America have also obviously been playing on Princess Drive's stereo. The lyrics, while being deliberately low in the mix so you strain to hear them rather than letting them wash over you, are literate and spikey, seeming to deal with issues such as old age, freedom of expression and the desire to be an individual. As I said before, in a surprisingly coherent moment, Princess Drive are a ginger headed run away train of attitude, ideas and adrenaline, an impatience with the past combined with an intelligent homage to the heroes of pogo, page and politics. They deserve your serious attention. Whether added maturity will help them focus their anger and energy and perhaps write some killer choruses, or turn them into just another whiney white boy band wanting to change the world 'one person at a time', only the future can tell. For now, they want to plant a fuck off huge musical molotov under the thrones of complacency, greed, mediocrity and prejudice. And we love 'em for it!
You can get this demo for free from Princess Drive here and see if it changes the world, or just you!
Count the quotes from bands and poets I ripped off in this review and win a chocolate coin....