"The Shocker" (Rancho Relaxo Records; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

FL, or Fully Loaded (and now known as Warner Drive), return with this limited edition, six song teaser from their forthcoming full-length CD. Some of the songs herein appeared on the band's earlier CD, "What Does That Stand For?" but have been re-recorded here with legendary producer Mike Clink (Guns N'Roses) behind the production console with James Michael. The result is that the three songs re-appearing here ("Life, " "All by Myself" and "Gone Away") sound fuller and richer here than they did on the earlier CD. More often than not, that's a good thing, although I think "All By Myself" loses a little of its edgy impact here. 

The new songs include the energetic "Calling You," the irresistibly riffed "Livin' It Up," and perhaps the band's most requested live song, the raunchy "The Shocker." As with the previous CD, the songs on "The Shocker" are lively hard rock that might fall somewhere between Cheap Trick and Sammy Hagar. The songwriting here is pop perfect, with the band delivering songs that are radio friendly without ever selling out their soul. Musically, that is. Lyrically ... well, let's just say that the raunchy title track is unlikely to get much broadcast airplay.

With "The Shocker," FL continue to impress with their unmatched energy, solid talent, intelligent lyrics and their ability to enjoy themselves while they do it. Personally, I can't wait for the full-length CD and I'm hoping that ... when it's done ... it'll be released by a major record label because this band deserves national recognition.

FL: Jonathan Jonah - vocals, guitar; Chris Koushayan - guitar; Peter Crowner - bass; Matthew Shapiro - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.fltheband.com

"The Shocker" (Rancho Relaxo Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

A few years ago, R. Scott and I were at the Warped Tour and we were checking out some of the side bands and we came across FL (who have since changed their name to Warner Drive). If you've read our review of the Warped Tour that year (and you can do so by clicking here), you know we were hooked.

Since then, we have waited patiently for the band's follow-up to "What Does that Stand For?" Finally, the wait is over.

"The Shocker" is produced by the legendary Mike Clink and he has captured FL at what they do best: Having fun. This six track EP shares the energy and humor levels of the band's live shows and their live show is great. The music here is a solid mix of good old fashioned rock'n'roll and punk. 

FL's "The Shocker" proves once again this band has undeniable talent but they're musicians because it's fun and you can tell they love it. The beauty here is that you'll love it, too.

FL: Jonathan Jonah - vocals, guitar; Chris Koushayan - guitar; Peter Crowner - bass; Matthew Shapiro - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.fltheband.com

What Does That Stand For?" (Rancho Relaxo Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

When we hit the Ventura, CA edition of the Warped Tour this year, FL were the highlight of the day (The band has since changed its name to Warner Drive). The band played on one of those postage stamp stages nearly hidden beside the twin airplane hangars / exhibit halls that are the center of Seaside Park. If we hadn't been constantly moving, we would have missed them and that would have been a shame.

When the band began, there were only a handful of people in front of the stage; when they finished there was many, many more. 

The back of the band's CD, "What Does That Stand For?" describes FL's music as "up tempo, melodic, hard rock'n'roll with a punk edge and a whole lotta soul." There's not much more I can tell you about the band's sound than that. The nine songs on the CD are all lively, tight rockers with lots of fast, melodic guitar, intense vocals, dynamic rhythms and lyrics that are sometimes funny, sometimes poignant but always solid. As talented as the entire band is musically (and they are all extremely talented) it's really the songwriting that's the star here. "What Does That Stand For?" has a higher percentage of well-written songs than any release in recent memory. Every single song shines on its own and every song has the potential to be a hit (with the obvious exception of the hidden track, "Fuck You 'cause Now I Fucked Her, Too" which ain't gonna get radio airplay anywhere ... okay, except maybe on XM, Sirius or Rough Edge Radio).

In fact, the only disappointment about this record is that it's only nine songs and less than 30 minutes long. The band has more material - we heard "The Shocker" and "I Wanna Play the Viper Room" at the Warped Tour show - and I wanted to hear the recorded versions soon after seeing the band live. Hopefully, judging from the band's charismatic live performance and the energy contained on "What Does That Stand For," it won't be long before they're recording again.

FL: Jonathan Jonah - vocals, guitar; Chris Koushayan - guitar; Peter Crowner - bass; Matt Shapiro - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.fltheband.com

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 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jan 2019 01:27:05 -0500.