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Album Review
Driver F - Chase the White Whale Album Cover

Driver F - Chase the White Whale

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8.8
Driver F - Chase The White Whale
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: April 8th, 2008
It's all thrown into one bag - the good pop with the bad. Like a cross between a cake walk and a popularity contest, it's how pop-punk, pop-rock and any electronic or dance function operate in a hyper-informational, over-saturated era. Who's gonna make top ranks this quarter? In and out, like a quickie or fast-drying nail polish, most pop bands have everything - the hair, the hooks and the hooligans - except the lasting power.

All of these assumptions were iron-cast until Austin, Texas labored this little band called Driver F and their full-length, Chase The White Whale. Immediately separating them from the Glamour Kill boys club, Driver F has a horn section, but not one that would get the ska stakes burning. More The Starting Line than Less Than Jake, this is obvious with the lack of blaring reggae chops and walking bass line. The horns (a trumpet and a trombone) - are stocked enough to be fun but subtle enough to be completely tasteful, if not impressive weave work. In fact, Chase The White Whale probably wouldn't be as good without the horns. They are a part of every track in mostly background ways, often to excite the listener in the beginning and then during the chorus, where the horns punch up the hook. This technique works wonders on tracks like "Temple of Doom" and especially during the snarky rumbling of "And I've been there before/Barely living for a year or more" on "At Least We Are Civilized". The instruments are proof of the band's keen musicianship and pop sensibility.

The album doesn't go so far to be a total concept of self-discovery, but most of the songs lyrically revel in recognizing strengths and weaknesses, drives and set backs. Named after "Moby Dick" and Captain Ahab's overwhelming devotion to finding that tremendous sea mammal (with adjacent water-bound lyrical morals), Chase The White Whale is a dedication to following one's lifetime passion. Admirable, yes, and compared to several of the band's contemporaries, here is a theme that is purposed to be completely heartfelt and a personal journey. Passion and getting-back-on-the-horse are universal ideas, but Driver F applies them to their experiences and draws the listeners into their own white whale.

With six members playing all the usual plus a few more (horns, background vocals, and keyboards), Chase The White Whale is layered to be rambunctious. It's lush with bouncy percussion, cohesive production and earnest vocals (gang, lead and background), but it's short. Not that this is anything out of the ordinary for a pop album. At only 35 minutes, it excels wide rather than long. The band opted for a recording of high octane pace, and it is why tracks like "Bury Me With My Money" brew everything in one pot. The song is full of synth, vocals trade-offs, hornin' around and heavy guitar work. This only leaves questions of potential for slower tracks and where the band could take these, but there are few qualms in the overall quality of White Whale. The production does it's job well, and that's to keep Driver F close-knit. Because the album can be over before it catches on, it's imperative that each track work towards the group. The last song on the album, "Lie 248", is an aggressive piece of songwriting and a perfect wrap-up with grabbing gang vocals and a gnarly attitude.

So it's fuckin' gnarly, personal and fresh on hooks. Driver F is the kind of band that comes only once in a neon-colored, v-necked moon. Excuse my over-enthusiasm. The sky is blue, the sun is smiling, and I have a new pair of sunglasses, but it's not the weather that bounces my step. It's Chase The White Whale, my iPod and a half-mile walk to campus.

RIYLThe Starting Line, New Found Glory, TV/TV, Jet Lag Gemini, Patent Pending, Sugarcult, Valencia
Check it OutPurchase | Myspace
This review is a user submitted review from Julia Conny. You can see all of Julia Conny's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 51
10:29 AM on 05/06/08
#2
Jason Tate
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[myspace]2099315172[/myspace]
10:57 AM on 05/06/08
#3
noles05
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Well, I was going to review this until I realized I could never find the right words. Julia, you have found the right words to describe this album. Great review!

EPK
11:29 AM on 05/06/08
#4
bloodyr0mance87
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good review. idk if it's the overall shitty stream quality on myspace, and i know this is self-released, but i think that these guys could benefit hugely from a some better production. i will be checking this out, though, cuz the music's still really good.
11:32 AM on 05/06/08
#5
brooklynburning
Enjoy it.
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fucking awesome review. the fact that this band is unsigned is criminal.
12:32 PM on 05/06/08
#6
saving jonathan
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AOTY for me, so far. I don't see that changing.
I'll be blaring this album deep into summer and beyond.

Great review Jules. I totally understand everything about your last paragraph, I simply could not be in a bad mood listening to these guys while I was walking on campus. Even if that meant I was on my way to take a stressful final. This album has 30+ spins on my iTunes already.

Also, Gerald sends his best.
12:52 PM on 05/06/08
#7
i bet i bet
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great review! really well written. and thanks for posting the video, jason.
02:31 PM on 05/06/08
#8
Julia Conny
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Well, I was going to review this until I realized I could never find the right words. Julia, you have found the right words to describe this album. Great review!

Now that is wonderful to hear! Why thank you.

good review. idk if it's the overall shitty stream quality on myspace, and i know this is self-released, but i think that these guys could benefit hugely from a some better production. i will be checking this out, though, cuz the music's still really good.

Definitely. Get them with the right producer, and these jams could be unstoppable.

fucking awesome review. the fact that this band is unsigned is criminal.

So agreed.

Hopefully some labels will read this review.
02:32 PM on 05/06/08
#9
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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AOTY for me, so far. I don't see that changing.
I'll be blaring this album deep into summer and beyond.

Great review Jules. I totally understand everything about your last paragraph, I simply could not be in a bad mood listening to these guys while I was walking on campus. Even if that meant I was on my way to take a stressful final. This album has 30+ spins on my iTunes already.

Also, Gerald sends his best.

Tell Gerald that I said hi. I think he has a good home now.

great review! really well written. and thanks for posting the video, jason.

The video makes me giggle every time. I can't see not having a fun time with these dudes.
04:04 PM on 05/06/08
tm decomposer
KEMBA WALKER 4 PREZ!!
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Great album. Awesome review Julia. I'm pretty sure I know who told you about them.
06:15 PM on 05/06/08
sowrongitsryan
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grrrrrrrrrreat review. i gotta check this out
06:23 PM on 05/06/08
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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Great album. Awesome review Julia. I'm pretty sure I know who told you about them.

Thanks. Actually, I believe I got the heads up from the band when they asked me to make a news post about them. Not sure if that's who you meant.
06:37 PM on 05/06/08
tm decomposer
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Thanks. Actually, I believe I got the heads up from the band when they asked me to make a news post about them. Not sure if that's who you meant.

Oh. haha.

I thought it was Shelby. hahah

My bad.
06:49 PM on 05/06/08
Julia Conny
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Oh. haha.

I thought it was Shelby. hahah

My bad.

No, haha. How do you know Shelby?
06:55 PM on 05/06/08
tm decomposer
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No, haha. How do you know Shelby?

Lol oh.

Probably from AP. I forgot where I met her. But we were recently talking and she mentioned how she's doing something with this band.

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