Drivin N Cryin – Best of Songs (review)

Drivin N Cryin – Best of Songs (Plowboy Records) review

Who says bands don’t make great albums anymore?

Perhaps Drivin N Cryin are onto something here.  Leader Kevn Kinney decided back in 2012 to abandon the idea of recording albums in favor of smaller EP’s, each with 5-6 songs on them.  The results were Songs From the Laundromat (2012); Songs About Cars, Space & the Ramones (2012); Songs From the Psychedelic Time Clock (2013); and Songs For the Turntable (2014).  Now, they’ve put together a 10-song distillation of these releases called Best of Songs.  And, in typical retro form, it’s only available on vinyl, with the album cover resembling a classic K-tel record.

Side one opens with the driving “Hot Wheels,” one of the catchiest tracks the band has ever laid down, while “Turn” is an excellent midtempo rocker.  It wouldn’t be a Drivin N Cryin record without diversity, with the moody “Strangers” and the Skynyrd-esque “Roll Away the Song” rounding out the first side.

Side two blasts off with the one-two punch of “Dirty” and “Ain’t Waitin’ on Tomorrow,” showing that these veterans haven’t lost their ability to kick ass. They revisit their roots with the gentle ode to their friends “REM,” while “The Little Record Store Around the Corner” pays homage to the 13th Floor Elevators, with a descending bass line.  The record ends with the psychedelic instrumental “Space Eyes.”

A note about the fidelity – the vinyl sounds better than the CD’s or mp3’s.  The CD’s in particular are loud, where the vinyl has more dynamics and is warmer.

The four EP’s produced a total of 32 songs, of which ten are on this compilation.  The irony here is that, by abandoning the album format, Drivin N Cryin have created one of their most consistent albums of their entire catalog – there really isn’t a bad song on the record.  In an era where nobody creates a whole album of great songs, Drivin N Cryin just gave the music industry a big middle finger – and produced a killer record —Tony Peters