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Published: 2006/09/19
by Brian Ferdman

self titled – Rose Hill Drive

Megaforce Records

Heavy…really heavy. That's one way to describe the sound of Rose Hill Drive. The young Boulder power trio has been touring for a couple of years, playing a marathon schedule and earning praise from rock luminaries, such as Pete Townshend. Their famed Led Zeppelin medleys have attracted a growing fanbase who are drawn to the intensity of their balls-to-the-wall jams. Now they have taken this intensity into the studio to record their debut album.

Right from the get-go, Rose Hill Drive come flying out of the gate with the raucous “Showdown.” Utilizing a machine gun guitar attack and pounding drums, this scorching song successfully straddles the line between metal and arena rock. The sound is later re-visited on the adrenaline-fueled “Raise Your Hands.” With a theme that alternates between majestic pomp and fist-pumping rock, the band pushes through their strident plea to make mankind stand up against the injustice in the world. Of course, it’s not all optimism on this album, as plenty of darker notions are explored in the proto-punk anthem “Man on Fire.” Also of note are the thunderous cuts of "The Guru" and "Across the Line," the latter being a slower rumbler that seethes with rage and evokes worthy comparisons to Gov't Mule.

Although Rose Hill Drive swings the hammer of the gods with a vengeance, the piece de resistance of this album is the four track acoustic suite. "In The Beginning" opens the medley with some solo English folk guitar reminiscent of Jimmy Page’s best work on Led Zeppelin III before gliding into the infectious indie rock groove of "Brain Novocaine." It resolves into the sweeping grandeur of "Declaration of Independence," which is aided by the faint sounds of a distant mellotron. The entire suite concludes with the gentle and optimistic tones of “It’s Simple,” a paean to the hopefulness of love. This collection of interconnected acoustic numbers comes as a bit of a surprise, and it shows a very different but nonetheless exciting side of this band. It’s hard to believe that the same musicians who were blowing your face off in the first four tracks are capable of such emotional depth and maturity. This fact is even more astounding when you consider that the combined ages of the three musicians in Rose Hill Drive is less than that of Keith Richards. Youth be damned, these three guys are already composing some impressive music, and if this exciting debut is any indication, Rose Hill Drive has a very promising future ahead of them.

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