It’s only the first half of 2023 and we have already been treated with some of the best hard rock albums of the last few years. The third opus of The Defiants is easily among those excellent albums and I dare to say – without any trace of exaggeration – that “Drive” is the best release of the American band of their short-lived yet so qualitative career. Although I suppose no special introductions are needed, it should be said that The Defiants consists of Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel and Rob Marcello who come from the…womb of Danger Danger. Already the first two albums have left a distinct mark on the hard rock community and so the anticipation for the third hit was palpable. So let’s take a look at where “Drive” took us…
First of all, don’t expect any serious differences regarding the musical direction of the new album…and thank God for that because we didn’t want any deviation from the familiar recipe of the first two albums. In other words, all fans of the US hard rock sound as it was gigantic in the 80s by bands like Bon Jovi, Danger Danger and Def Leppard will find here a bunch of compositions that will remind them of the glorious years of the genre. Radio hits, refrains that stick in your brain from the first listen, fabulously crafted vocals (lead and backing ones) down to the smallest detail and an overall admirable studio performance. Paul Laine sings like there’s no tomorrow while Ravel & Marcello are flawless! And if all this hasn’t convinced you, put on the anthemic “Go Big or Go Home” or the radio friendly “19 Summertime” and if you don’t sing them throughout the day I don’t deserve to write another review of a hard rock album again!
“Drive” and The Defiants prove that hard rock may not monopolize commercially, as it used to do in the past, the interest of the buying public (however big or small that is, nowadays) but it is alive and dominant… in the consciousness of all those who want to listen to optimistic music that will make them escape for 45 minutes from the cold reality. “Drive” is easily ranked among the best albums of 2023 and it’s definitely the best album of The Defiants.
Highlight: It would be a mishap if I didn’t underline the great production work on the album.