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Drive - IDEFI

Drive
IDEFI
by Jon Conant at 27 February 2018, 7:13 AM

This one is a doozy. Here we have DRIVE, a power hard rock band out of Houston, Texas that was mainly active in the early nineties. They released two albums, “Characters in Time” in 1988 and “Diablero” in 1992, before label issues cause them to fizzle out. One of the victims of their breakup was their third planned album which had already had some demos recorded, titled IDEFI.  It never saw the light of day, until now.

So, why are we listening to some demo hard rock tracks from the mid-90s in 2018? Tragically, lead singer David Taylor passed away from a car accident in 2009, and then in 2017 founder and guitarist Rick Chavez also passed away from an undetected internal bleed. The remaining members came together to release these tracks as a final tribute to their fallen brothers.

That’s something I can get behind, it’s sentimental, and it’s an opportunity to showcase some potential from a band that never became what it could have. Because of this, I will withhold to certain degree my usual cynicism of the hard rock genre. Also because these boys have some real talent, and I will always respect that.

And truthfully, many of these songs really do jam quite well. Taylor and Chavez split vocal duties, and their soaring and powerful vocal melodies combined with the powerful guitar from Chavez truly define the album and bring it to fruition.

Track 2 “Insanity” has one of the more brooding and moving choruses on the album, as well as one of my favorite guitar lines.

Much of the album falls definitively into the “demo” category, with shoddy recording and incomplete concepts. But, you can’t expect too much from an unfinished album recorded in the 90s that exists solely as a tribute to fallen bandmates. That being said, other highlights include “U or Me” with a crisp guitar solely and a well executed story arc. Immediately after “Under The Spanish Sun” gives us a definite radio hit…at least it would have been…back in the 90s…if it had been released. Shame.

Album closer “Fool” provides a unique twist to close out this tribute/demo/collaboration. The hard rock tone takes a backseat and we get a funky vocally driven 70s sounding rock power ballad that moves and grooves with the best of them.

Everything being what it is, this is an enjoyable and well thought out tribute to two metalheads taken too soon. I’m sure this was a very emotional thing for the remaining members to do, and I have nothing but respect. This was a band with some degree of potential as we plainly hear, and it’s a shame nothing more ever came of it. Enjoy the experimentation of “IDEFI,” and RIP David Taylor and Rick Chavez.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 5

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:

1. Inherit The Wind
2. Insanity
3. Otra Vex
4. Pandilla
5. U12B
6. U Or Me
7. Under The Spanish Sun
8. Idefi
9. Women
10. Not Yet
11. Enemy Wind
12. Me And My Carnal
13. Fool
14. For You
15. Anyway

Lineup:
Michael Anthony Guerrero - Bass
Valentine San Miguel - Drums
Rick Chavez - Guitars
Mike Conde - Guitars
David Taylor - Vocals
Record Label: 20th Century Music
     


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Edited 16 December 2018
 

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