Categorically a band who set the mood and draw you in from the offset, Five Wheel Drive offer every bit of organic funk and rock that their Americana-soaked name seems to imply, and Try Me is a notably unpredictable, eclectic EP of some of their finest songs to date.
Beginning with the funky blues-rock and grit of Russian Roulette, the band quickly make clear their fine use of melody, pristine musicianship, and raw passion alike. The song’s hook sees it explode into a brand new moment of expression, vocals uniting to hit with memorable impact as that melody and lyrical switch strikes.
Great vocals and impressive musicianship continue to lead the way throughout the EP, though the mood effectively meanders according to the intention or story of each song. The title-track, for example, pours through with a soulful, solo-led swagger – nostalgic for its expressive and smooth, heartfelt yet dreamy nature. Then the band’s rhythm kicks back in, their unity, and once again you’re prompted to consider the brightness and skill of a live show.
Most probably inspired by the likes of The Eagles as much so as the harder hitting rock legends of yesteryear, these songs follow a powerful stricture in every case – the chorus making the relevant move to distortion and weight, the vocal power following suit. It’s beautiful, immersive songwriting, performed in a naturally engaging, striking way, and it makes for a stunning listen.
Seven Days was an early favorite having briefly heard the band’s music before writing. The build-up again, the use of contrast between softness and grit, the story-telling of the instrumental in itself. This is great musicality, with raw, real vocals and lyrics to match. The melody and short lines inject an anthem-like singalong quality to this particular track, and the hook drops in with blissfully uplifting energy.
Throwing further versatility into the mix, I Need You So Bad welcomes a fresh vocalist, and fast-paced verses that almost lean towards punk or even rap. There’s a punk-rock core to this one in general, but it still feels mainstream and melodic enough to connect with a broader audience. A great song, unique yet satisfying, and a further testament to the band’s artistry and musicianship alike.
Bringing things to a mighty finish is the explosive and distortion soaked The Difference – a song that adopts that punk rock aura all the more so. High energy, fast guitars and impeccable drum work, great vocal layers and a story that holds your attention – the song tops off the short collection perfectly well.
The whole thing is a joy to turn up loud and lose yourself within for a while. And this is far from the beginning of the Five Wheel Drive journey. Music well worth knowing about.
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