Engloria - Drive
Albany alt. rockers Engloria have issued in Drive a follow-up EP to Sundown which sees the band move forward with their style of driving (pun intended) rock. Drawing their influences from some great indie American outfits of the nineties, Gigolo Aunts, Buffalo Tom and the Gin Blossoms spring to mind, Drive is an EP which does what it says on the tin. Put it on in your car and hit the motorway. If you're unlucky, and not on the world's largest carpark known as the M25, you might even get ticketed for speeding.
The EP comprises three tracks, each of which has a very different feel to it, but all of which are linked somehow to a theme of travel and movement. The opener, and title track, is a melodic rocker in the vein of the aforementioned bands, with a memorable hook and good instrumentation. The vocals are reminiscent of, well I can't quite pinpoint it, but that is perhaps because vocalist James Stewart has a voice which has a feeling of familiarity and yet uncertainty about it.
The second track, "Out of Love" starts off with an acoustic riff which is strongly reminiscent of Oasis's "Wonderwall". Although the song develops from there, it retains that feeling of familiarity, right down to the synthesiser orchestration in the background. It is left to the final track, "Made for You" to provide the EP's best moments. An acoustic begining, complete with what sounds like a banjo or ukulele, gives way to a slower-paced but more forceful track with power chords and probably the best lyrics on the EP.
The Drive EP is one of those releases which will, presuming you like this style of music, will give you a warm feeling. There is so much here you will recognise, will seem familiar to you, that you cannot help but enjoy it. Whether that is enough depends on how you take your music. Although enjoyable, the EP breaks no new ground. What Engloria do, they do well, but there is nothing really to distinguish their sound from that of a dozen other bands occupying the same musical space. Their influences are clear and while there is nothing wrong with that, per se, it is perhaps too strong and pervasive on "Out of Love", rendering that track the weakest of the three.
There can be no doubt, listening to Drive, that Engloria have what it takes. It is just that it seems that they need to step outside of their comfort zone if they are really going to progress.
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