"1000 Yard Stare" (MCA/Universal; 1999)ddrive.jpg (10400 bytes)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

By blurring the edges of hard rock and alternative metal this Atlanta-based quartet have cut huge riffs that are used to construct songs that are catchy, aren't too complex, or too simple. Achieving the delicate balance of craft and songs is a difficult task, but doubleDrive seem well on their way to making a name for themselves. The band is at its best when it rocks out. Like their hometown compatriots Sevendust, doubleDrive are at the top of their game when they are able to stick to a simple formula of riff-driven songs that carry both emotion and vocal melodies.

The vocals are delivered with force. Although this refreshing delivery is becoming in vogue once again, doubleDrive seem to have a knack for utilizing catchy chorus refrains atop their solid if unspectacular verses. The lack of screaming is a breath of fresh air in which many bands seem content to "pick a note and scream." Vocalist Donnie Ray Hamby tastefully chooses his spots to let out a vicious wail or piercing yell - the appropriateness of the spots give the music a more cathartic

The best songs include "Belief System," "Dressed For Light," "Smaller," the title track, and "Tattooed Bruise (Here And There)." A cover of Wall Of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" is most perplexing, yet oddly satisfying; this '80s hit redressed for the new millenium is an appropriate send-off for the growing genre of melodic hard rock as this song in 1982 combined the unlikely combination of dance music and punk.

The band stumbles when it slows the pace down. The band struggles to avoid mediocrity with songs like "Vamp" in which the band sounds a bit ordinary (yet the vocal line is infectious). Songs such as "Hell" and "Reason" just don't have the kick the rest of the disc has.

All in all, "1000 Yard Stare" is a decent debut for a band that seems to be giving an honest try at making hard rock melodic and enjoyable.

"1000 Yard Stare" was produced by produced by doubleDrive. Mixing talent was provided by Kevin Shirley (Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Nuno Bettencourt).

doubleDrive is Donnie Hamby on vocals, Troy McLawhorn on guitar, Joshua Sattler on bass, and Mike Froedge on drums.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:28 -0400 .