Welcome to Junkyard Drive, the new kings of Danish Sleaze Rock. Were there other Danish sleaze rockers one not in the know may ask. Trust me it doesn’t matter since these guys can certainly back up their claim! Making a name for themselves touring their native Denmark as well as Latvia, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico and U.S.A., Junkyard Drive have shared stages with Primal Fear and Lizzy Devine (Veins of Jenna).
This album, Sin & Tonic, is the debut offering from Denmark’s Junkyard Drive out February 17, 2017, from Mighty Music. The album saw production and mixing from Soren Andersen. You should recognize that name from his work with bands such as Mike Tramp, Glenn Hughes or Electric Guitars featuring the Binzer Brothers from D-A-D.
During the recording, they had an encounter with one of my Canadian countrymen: “We were about to finish the album in Medley Studios, just a couple of weeks before heading to the States. We had just two days to record 4 tracks, everything was set up and we were ready to go. This is when Justin Bieber showed up in the studio with his whole entourage of bodyguards and men in suits and wanted to record a song! Bieber put us on a 6 hours hold, but when we got back in the studio we picked up the guitars and started shredding away, and we managed to stay inside our time limit.” – says Birk, lead guitarist. I’m personally embarrassed for Canada!
Junkyard Drive‘s membership roster reads: Kris – Lead vocals, Birk – Lead guitar, Benjamin – Rhythm guitar, Mikkel – Bass, Claus – Drums
Junkyard Drive – Sin & Tonic
On the first run through of Sin & Tonic, my initial reaction remains the same after 10 plays. This is a great sleaze album, keeping the torch in that sub-genre ragingly aflame. Thundering bass lines, thumping drum beat, clean, clear and not overstretched vocals all paired with some wicked soloing work. Some clear standouts include album opener “If You Wanna Rock Me”, the absolutely ripping “Bone Dry Jessie”, “Danger Zone” (not a Kenny Loggins cover) and the slower heavy blues rock affair “Stone Cold Lady”.
This is exactly the kind of album I remember rushing home from school to spin on vinyl. Head bobbing while sitting on the floor doing homework. Most of the 10 selections come in at around the four-minute mark, give or take and are dripping sleaze as advertised. It’s this style of track where Junkyard Drive really shine. I find that the album starts out smashingly but loses momentum when we come to the second released single “Geordie”. Now anyone reading my previous reviews will know that I’m not a huge fan of slower fare. Although the playing is top notch, for me “Geordie” just drags on somewhere between ballad and slow paced rocker for over 6 minutes. Probably it’s just me. YouTube the track and call me crazy if needs be, won’t be the first time.
Things get back to the comfort zone with the stellar closing cut “Slave to Technology”. This is a wicked thumper and perfect way to end an overall fantastic collection on a high note.