Published on January 17th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Drive: IDEFI (20th Century Music)
Now here’s a name I didn’t expect to hear in 2017. Texas-based metal-turned-hard rock band Drive was active in the late ’80s and early ’90s, releasing a pair of very good (and very different) albums: 1988’s progressive/power metal gem Characters in Time and 1992’s hard rocking Diablero. Then, as the too-familiar story goes, grunge came in and this kind of music was swept aside. Drive may have called it quits, but when they did they had recorded what should have been their third album. It has remained unreleased…until now.
The album is called IDEFI (as in “I defy”), and it’s finally seeing the light of day thanks to the new reissue label 20th Century Music. Sadly, IDEFI serves as a tribute to both singer David Taylor and founding guitarist Rick Chavez, who died in recent years. The album contains 15 songs, all newly remastered.
The songs on IDEFI pick up more or less where Diablero left off. There’s a metal edge to them, but for the most part this is a hard rock album. Kind of like a harder-edged TNT or Shy. They didn’t quite fit in with the Trixters and Slaughters, but were in that general ballpark. The band experimented a bit, and some of the songs seemed like they were increasingly aware of bands like Alice in Chains, but these are all good, solid hard rockers. Like the previous Drive albums, IDEFI’s main strengths are the high, powerful vocals from David Taylor, the flashy guitar work and the driving (no pun intended) rhythms.
It’s so good to have this material available after all these years. It may take a few spins to determine where IDEFI stacks up against the other two Drive albums (I’d argue it’s at least as good as Diablero), but it is clearly a worthy addition to the Drive legacy. Longtime fans will definitely need to add this to their collections, and it does make a pretty good introduction for those who missed the band the first time around (especially since their earlier albums remain out of print).
Kudos to 20th Century Music for getting these tunes out of the vault. Now they just need to arrange for a proper CD reissue of Characters in Time.
Summary: It's great to hear these lost songs from an underrated band