Album review

Solarized : Driven

Solarized : DrivenFrom the sublime to the even more sublime, there is no way to describe Solarized without using the word 'big'. Everything about this album is huge. Even without a multi-million dollar budget they have pulled a massive sound out of the bag and laid it out here to dry in the sun.
    There is no denying that there is a huge Monster Magnet influence at work here - indeed the album even comes with a heavy endorsement from Wyndorf himself, but that's not the whole story. Pulling slivers of Rob Zombie and Fu Manchu from their flesh and soaking them in moonshine seems to be good for their souls, but I'm getting lazy with comparison here. Solarized have turned themselves into one of the year's great up and coming bands. Overnight success? Not really and there's probably more years of toil left than you care to think about before they begin to reap what they so easily deserve. But for now, Driven will testify that they're at least half way there.

Lead track, Dig The Ride is something else - with its huge guitars and bass drowning your senses in a wave of power. The album is set up for a storming romp through the likes of Born Of Fire, the cool-as-hell Chrome Shop and Mean Spirit, and culminates around four tracks later with Box Full Of Dirt before the album slows down a little - but not before they've taken apart Stab Your Back (The Damned) and rebuilt it using some serious grade engine oil.

If I have anything negative to say about Driven, it's that the album tends to have stacked its weaker elements towards the end, but that's a small gripe - 95% of it is beautifully brutal rock 'n' roll, as played only by those with the balls to see it through to the end.
    Frontman James Hogan has a great career ahead of him if he can pull off in interviews what I think is on display here - maybe I'll give it a shot!

:: Sion Smith

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.