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Turbo Vixen - Drive Into The Night Award winner

Turbo Vixen
Drive Into The Night
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 27 November 2018, 6:24 AM

Vancouver, a city that I was intimate with in the 80's (I lived in Kitsilano, literally 5 blocks from the Granville Street Bridge) going to clubs like The Town Pump, The Savoy, and the venerable Commadore Ballroom and witnessing bands like D.O.A, 54-40, The Payolas (Bob Rock's band) the list goes on but the memories are fuzzy at best. Hey, it was the 80's in Vancouver! We had Bruce Cockburn's guitarist living in the basement of our apartment building. I walked by Mushroom Studios every day on my way to work in False Creek. So when I played the first track from TURBO VIXEN's "Drive into the Night", a little diddy called "Thunder and Lightning", I experienced an extreme flashback. Hair Metal cranked to 11! The strange thing is, it sounds fresh and new.

"No Mercy" had an interesting hook, almost a swing feel, and the sax was a serendipitous treat you never hear anymore in anything that rocks hard, and they made it work! Kudos! Love the double meaning of "Hard Love N' You", a straight up hard rocker, but my favorite song was "Cat House", a blues song in overdrive, complete with harmonica and double entendres. One thing I would like to point out is that vocalist Dan Cleary from Edmonton based Striker is a guest on this recording, as well as bassist Darryl MacDonald, but there was a chemistry definitely between all of the participants in this collaboration. There had to be, to pull of a song like "Hit Back" which also is a great example of keeping a groove flow through a song but changing up the riff constantly to keep it interesting.

The core of the band, guitarist J.J. Rowlands and drummer Aaron Bell have a defined vision for the musical direction of this group, and the life style that goes with it. "She's Got the Touch" reminds me of that one woman who stood out when I looked down from the stage that she'd eat you alive if you were brave enough to talk to after the set. "Down the Hatch" was Gastown on a Friday night, getting drunk while dissing on a band we were more jealous of than anything, strutting in our cowboy boots, tossing our hair looking for a bit of squeeze but way too wrecked to really do anything. Ahhh, youths stupidity! What kind of rock album would it be without the car, and title track "Drive into the Night" tells me they find a purity in just getting into your car and driving to where ever the damn thing takes you.

This album is rock in the purest sense, and this gathering of talented musicians should be formalized in my humble opinion. The sound is crisp, clean and well mixed. Should this be called hair metal though? I propose that a new genre description for this should be "Blues Metal", and Turbo Vixen's "Drive into the Night" should be held up as a shining example of it!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Thunder and Lightning
2. No Mercy
3. Hard Love N' You
4. Cat House
5. Hit Back
6. All My Love
7. She's Got the Touch
8. Straight Out of Hell
9. Down the Hatch
10. Drive Into The Night
J.J. Rowlands – Guitars
Aaron Bell – Drums
Dan Cleary - Vocals (Guest)
Darryl MacDonald - Bass (Guest)
Record Label: Independent


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