Drive Train – The Dodge Brothers

With familiar themes and sounds harking back to 1950s Sun Records, there's still a lot of rocki'n'roll freshness on 'Drive Train' by The Dodge Brothers.

‘Drive Train’ is the third long player from British band The Dodge Brothers. Featuring fourteen original tracks composed by the band and one cover, the listener might think that the record will be long one, but with the average song lasting two and half minutes the record appears to fly by in an all engrossing moment of sonic enjoyment.

‘Step Away From The Car’, ‘Drive’ and ‘Drunk On You’ are heavy on classic rockabilly guitar riffs and 1950s greaser rock while ‘Head Out West’, with its hypnotic and melodic guitar melody, takes the listener on a dreamy road trip that hints at shades of 1960s psychedelic pop.

The band step into Americana territory with ‘Shining Gold’ which features classic themes of immigration, greed and passion fuelled by the American gold rush while ‘Cast Iron Heart’ conjures up images of a Bonnie and Clyde type couple caught up in a Dylan-esque tale of crime, deceit, passion and vengeance.

Making up the Dodge Brothers are: Mike Hammond (guitars, lead vocals, banjo), Aly Hirji (guitars, mandolin, vocals), Mark Kermode (bass, harmonica, vocals), and Alex Hammond (washboard, snare drum, percussion).  With production deftly handled by Aly Hirji, the record has a sound that could have easily come straight out of Sun Records Studio.

A cover of the Charley Patton & Bertha Lee penned ‘O Death’, a  mainstay of the band’s live shows leads the listener into the spiritual side, while ‘When I’m Gone’ continues the theme and will without doubt provide a popular show ending sing along at live shows.

‘Drive Train’ delivers the tracks at a heady and enjoyable pace using the timeless subjects of death, cars, drinking, crime, redemption and good old fashioned rock’n’roll.  What makes it stand out is the way the record creates a vast landscape of familiar scenarios and characters created with broad brush strokes and fuses them together using various genres of music.

‘Drive Train’ is available now via The Dodge Brothers.

The Dodge Brothers play The Black Box, Belfast on 12th January 2019 as part of The Out to Lunch Festival.