Driver Friendly – Unimagined Bridges


Album

Unimagined Bridges

Label

Hopeless Records

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Motion City Soundtrack - Candy Hearts

Summary

What this lacks in lyricism, it makes up for in every other aspect.

Rating

90 / 100

When it comes to a band called Driver Friendly, you have no clue what they’re going to sound like. It’s actually a pretty bad name but we tend to not judge books by their covers. And when it comes to Driver Friendly neither should you because if there was an award for most underrated band on the planet, then it goes to these guys.

Opening with the little intro-ditty, The Game’, ‘Unimagined Bridges’ is set in stone from the beginning. There is a lot going on in this just a minute-fifty song. A LOT.

There is a bunch of background synth to set the tone and mood with guitars and brass instruments taking the forefront. The drums and bass drive the song at an alarming rate compared to its poppy nature. Add some damn right catchy vocals and you have a song with incredible depth. Every corner of the track feels filled and whole, leaving a large and lasting impact.  


This description of ‘The Game’ can be said for every single song on ‘Unimagined Bridges’. The eleven-track spectacle has got some of the most unforgettable songs you’ll hear this year.


Whether they’re the simply formulated lead single ‘Stand So Tall’ or the sonically-huge and spine chilling number of ‘Undone’Driver Friendly know how to write songs that hold your attention by the throat and never let go. There’s always well-crafted depth to the songs with no instrument every seeming to do the same as another. 

Yet there is a downside to the album: the lyrics. Just have a look at some of the lyrics for ‘Undone’.


“If I got into the angels/Would they even know my name/ I’m not alright/On some nights/Fighting the weight of possibility/A future so obscene”


Now, it’s not that they don’t make sense or that they’re stupid, they just feel convoluted and unsure. So yeah, they are kind of stupid and don’t make sense but we’re being nice. Although vocally they are passionate and powerful, the actual words themselves just seem to be there to have some overarching message and to fit the melody line of the track.


On ‘Stand So Tall’ they once again no longer feel like they’re well-thought out.


“You still believe/ In stability/Or the thought of being stable/Well I’m not able/ To stay inside the lines/Sometimes”


We’re not word scholars but isn’t “stability” and “the thought of being stable” the same thing theoretically? We’re not trying to poke holes in Driver Friendly’s message but it does seem like the words are made to rhyme and fit the song structure, which can be a bit of an off-put at times.


Dan Campbell deserves an honourable mention for referencing his own band’s (The Wonder Years) song ‘Don’t Let Me Cave In’ on his guest spot on ‘Stand So Tall’. When it happens, you’ll know.


Also, what the absolute fuck is an “unimagined bridge”?! 

 

Conclusion

‘Unimagined Bridges’ is a beautifully written album with so much depth and passion drilled into its eleven tracks. If it weren’t for the below average lyricism, then this would be one of the best albums of the year. 

 

 

Tracklisting

1. The Game (This Won’t Hurt)
2. Everything Gold
3. Stand So Tall (feat. Dan Campbell)
4. Deconstruct You
5. Undone
6. The Conversation
7. Bad Way
8. Start Again
9. What A Predicament!
10. Twenty Centuries Of Sleep
11. Bridges

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