The sound of Lame Drivers is not something that’s easy to pin down, especially in their full length LP Chosen Era, wherein shifts in style and song structures are as fleeting as the next chord change. They have the bombastic creativity in rock n roll that’s reminiscent of Guided By Voices along with the rapid-fire energy of early Buzzcocks, but soon after the comparisons blur and they seem to fit every genre of rock in between. Power-pop and facets of indie rock have equal representation in this record with clear nods to the 60’s psych, 80’s and 90’s alternative. Like its title suggests, this record encompasses an entire era on its own.
What’s quite interesting about this record is how unique each song sounds from one another, especially with regards to the vocal delivery, so much so that I keep questioning if I’m still listening to the same band. What’s funny is that this in by no means diminishes the quality of the songs.
The opener “Eyes” sounds like your standard rock and roll from the 80’s with a snarky brit punk attitude. “Frozen Egg” rollicks in with heavy power-pop fare yet is quite subdued in its vocals while “Throw It to the Moon” is surf rock with a reverb filled new wave style. These changes could seem jarring at first, yet once I got the hang of it and started expecting the unexpected, I began to appreciate how creative and versatile the band really is. This isn’t your regular LP, Chosen era is a rock and roll greatest hits collection that’s carefully curated by Lame Drivers.
Other ‘hits’ in this record include “Vacation Exit Philadelphia” which features grindy airline distortion with a Jagger-esque swagger and delivery. “Sister” is a 60’s psych rock tune with trippy chord changes and glittering acoustic trills and flourishes.
Although this record was originally released with 13 tracks, three other bonus tracks are added in digital distributions and via Jigsaw Records. This includes the classic rock inspired “Color Me Dead”, The groovy surf rock banger “Headhunting” and the closer “Other Side”, a jangly alt rock track with catchy rhythm changes and dynamic guitar riffs.
Chosen Era is a tight package that somehow manages to encompass a large spectrum of rock and roll while executing it with style. Lame Drivers does not have their sound pinned down to a definition, yet this proves to be their greatest strength and a great asset for this LP.