By Wal Reid
Artist: Black River Drive
Date / Venue: Friday November 14th, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
There aren't many Kiwi bands that you could say have heart & soul like Auckland band Black River Drive, but the thing is, the raw passion that you hear on their new album Quicksand is exactly what you get live, no holds barred.
Tonight was Auckland's turn to revel in BRD's touring "Quicksand" show as the band quickly shot in into opening rousers 'Hold the Line' & 'Doctor' before applying the brakes a little with the excellent mood swinging'Everything Must Go'.
The band's new album Quicksand has undergone a bit of a "Frankenstein" process, produced by Toby Wrightin Nashville and local legend Zorran Mendonsa in Auckland, mixed by Forrester Savell of Animal As Leaders/I Am Giant fame, has given the album a truly international flavour and not to mention one of NZ's biggest rock albums of 2014.
The easily recognisable backing vocals of new radio single Quicksand signalled the crowd back into the swing of things, with vocalist Sam Browne nicely engaging the crowd long enough before launching into the frenetic intro guitar riff of 'Wake Up', this is probably for me one of the stand out tracks on the new album, and of course the explosive track 'Grenade' which people obliged by "hitting the floor and getting down"
Bassist Rusty McNaughton & guitarist Matt Stone did a solid job on backing vocals adding to the band's driving sound, while singer Sam possesses one of the best vocals in the business. The only disappointment was the small crowd in attendance however being the consummate pros they are, they delivered an energetic knock-out show as good if not better than any touring band seen lately.
River Drive's new album has been described as 'modern rock with a rock and roll heart' but as they say they left the best song for last the band's first single: 'Bullet for your Gun'. Yep, lots of smiling faces, it's the way a gig should be...