Black Map

Driver EP

Written by: EL on 31/10/2014 11:17:29

Having came together for their first EP at the beginning of this year under the band name Black Map, vocalist/guitarist Ben Flanagan (Trophy Fire), guitarist Mark Engles (Dredg) and drummer Chris Robyn (Far), tried to conjure up something new with the EP, entitled “Driver”. They have already supported the likes of Chevelle, Kill Devil Hill and Tombs, and were snapped up quickly by Minus Head Records.

The opening track, “I’m Just The Driver”, is an awesome, rhythmic whirlwind of sound. The influence from their former bands can be seen quite clearly through the lines as you are pulled into a heavy and melodic track. It’s punchy and throw-your-fist-in-the-air-worthy. The song is Deftones-esque, with the longing vocals and whining guitar riffs resonating with influence from that band. It’s a great first track. Track two, “Gold”, is somewhat less impressive. It seems a little bit more rushed and has some awkward guitar riffs in it, which detract from the rest of the song. Then suddenly we are led into a slow, melodic, and much less heavy song in “Head For The Hills”. I almost don’t feel like I’m listening to the same band anymore! The image I form in my head is a high school band playing a slow balladic song at a school dance. It has this wonderful swaying nature about it, and the guitars are reminiscent of a whale’s love song. The final track “Ropes” whips up the tempo again and produces a catchy ending. Having said that, the song does have a certain filler quality to it, and doesn’t compare well with the other tracks on here. A particularly irksome feature of “Ropes” is the mind numbingly irritating rhyming; “Let’s tie these ropes together- so tight they never sever. Let’s lay down in the heather...” - enough is enough!

Nonetheless, "Driver" is a good beginning for the band: some songs you’ll find yourself singing along to and even putting on repeat, while others fall short of anything noteworthy or even vaguely memorable.


Download: I'm Just The Driver, Head For The Hills
For The Fans Of: Mastodon, Karnivool

Release date 25.02.2014
Minus Head Records

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