Adamo Drive

Spirit Of The Donkey Engine

Written by: PP on 11/01/2009 14:19:26

A few reviews ago I was talking about excellent promo packs, and here's another example. Adamo Drive sent me an entire file which contained stickers, business card, hand-written letter, a previous interview with the band, newspaper clippings, a biography and of course full contact details. Little more makes a reviewer happier than receiving such a pack in the post. Anyway, Adamo Drive are a three-piece from Pittsburgh, PA, who proclaim to play 'cosmic rock n roll with surf tendencies to it'. Whatever that description means is anyone's guess, but there are really only two or three songs here that warrant the 'cosmic' rock label ("Mass Tragedy" and "Ain't That Harder"), which in my ears sounds something like high-pitch guitars echoing in endless space.

"Spirit of The Donkey Engine" is the band's third album already, but honestly it sounds like the band is still in the process of demoing material. Most songs here are annoying, jumping from one genre affiliation to another without paying any attention to things like 'catchy chorus' or 'nice riff'. The band itself stated in an interview in April 2008 that people think they are the best band they know, but "the problem is, no one ever listens to [us] except for two people". Well, no wonder, because songs like "Shriek Of The Donkey Engine" or "High Plains Drifter", the two that open this record, aren't something you'd wanna put on...well, ever.

That being said, a few songs showcase at least a glimpse of promise here. "Jason Bateman" is my favorite because of the high-pitch guitar that reminds me a little of Foals, and the strangely elevated vocal work climbing up and down a scale. "F ck The Shoe" is also a decent song mostly because it fits more under surf rock than anything else, but really, the female vocals in this song are completely off tune and therefore drag the song down a few notches. "Shawnee" has interesting Modest Mouse undertone to it, and it seems in general that the songs on the second half of the album are much better than those in the start of the album.

Still, I can't ever imagine a band like Adamo Drive having bigger success than playing tiny venues (read: bars and pubs) as third support band. Their sound is too strange to appeal to any wider audiences (this could be a Pulp Fiction soundtrack), and at the same time it isn't experimental enough to draw in those crowds. Most of all, the entire album lacks focus - it feels more like 10 randomly written songs from different genres than a band with an actual identity.


Download: Jason Bateman, F ck The Shoe, Shawnee
For the fans of: Modest Mouse, Beach Boys, Pulp Fiction
Listen: Myspace

Release date May 2008

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII