Driver – Countdown


In the eighties four musicians joined for a project. It were none other than Tony MacAlpine, Rudy Sarzo, Rob Rock and Tommy Aldridge, who formed M.A.R.S. with which they released ‘Project: Driver’ in 1986. Great tracks such as ‘Stand Up And Fight’, ‘Nostradamus’ and ‘Writings On the Wall’ unfortunately did not get the attention that this very interesting project deserved. With the rise of grunge (and the record company therefor losing interest) and with Aldridge and Sarzo joining Whitesnake (in 1987) an early death of the project was unavoidable. Over twenty-two years later (in 2008) Rob Rock, although being the sole survivor and now under the name Driver, brought new life into the band and released ‘Sons Of Thunder’. And now ‘Countdown’ follows.

Rock gathered highly skilled musicians: Roy Z (who you should know of his work with Bruce Dickinson, Halford and WASP), Ed Roth (ex-Impellitteri), Aaron Samson (George Lynch) and Reynold Carlson (ex-Jag Panzer) are present. All band members contribute the necessary experience and that can be heard on the album that really has no weak point. It will not surprise you that, with roots in the distant past, Driver plays classic, melodic hard rock with some AOR (‘Always On My Mind’) and metal elements. On ‘Countdown’ the pace regularly is quite high (‘Return To The Sky’, ‘Hollywood Shooting Star’, ‘Feel The Fire’), but there are also times where the speed drops (‘Always On My Mind’, ‘Destiny’). The tracks are catchy, especially the guitar work is fierce, skilful and very convincing (Roy Z throws beautiful guitar solos and riffs around) and that Rock knows how to charm with his bright, yet powerful voice will not surprise anyone.

The years may have passed; the sound is remarkably unchanged. Stagnation is regression? Not in this case: I rather speak of preserving the good. If 80’s metal appeal to you, you can buy ‘Countdown’ without hesitating a single second.

Written By Patrick

Rating: 85/100

Track list:
1. Return To The Sky
2. Rising Son
3. Countdown
4. Hollywood Shooting Star
5. Thief In The Night
6. Cry Of The Wounded
7. Always On My Mind
8. Feel The Fire
9. Destiny
10. Running From The Darkness
11. Babylon (Exclusive European Bonus Track)

Band Members:
Rob Rock – vocals
Roy Z – Guitars
Ed Roth – Keyboard
Aaron Samson – Bass
Reynold Carlson – Drums

Record Label: AOR Metal Heaven, May 2012

Weblinks: Website / Myspace / Rob Rock


One Reply to “Driver – Countdown”

  1. Thank you to all who stuck with this endeavor! On the 1st, this will be on my mp3 player, and hopefully, I can get a hold of an actual ‘CD’, or any type of ‘hard copy’ of this recording! There are a few really good records I’ve recently discovered. No disrespect to those gifted, talented musicians, but for my taste, this recording is clearly the best. I am so excited to hear this on something other than my ‘pc’. Thank you Rob Rock! Vocals are ‘killer’, and the guitar licks grab you & DO NOT let go! Awesome job! Jim in Pittsburgh

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