Believe the hype!
Record label, Punktastic must be jumping up and down with joy over their decision to sign British punkers Fastlane. What you get here with the follow up to their debut album, 'New Start', is, 'Overdrive' an album with a sound that is a little too punk to be classed as totally pop/punk and this gives the band a more mature sound which is well produced clean and punchy.
First song, 'Motion' starts off with riffs that come straight from the late eighties and hard pounding drums laying down a rhythm section as tight as spandex pants, but somehow this doesn't sound dated but a fresh revamp. It's an upbeat, mid tempo song that only sets the scene of what is to come. Even in a slower song like, 'Let This Go' there are the deep chugging guitar riffs that add to the contrasting melodic vocals, giving the genre-mix that sets them apart from their peers. There are elements of Reliant K in 'Sunset At Seventeen', whereas there is more than a slight nod towards AFI in 'Uninvited Feeling', but without the whiny vocals I might add.
There is a single waiting to happen in the mid-punk-romp of '16 Hours' that starts off gently before building and peaking in an anthem of a chorus, before we have the even more accessible pop/punk in, 'Hear Me Out' which is dripping with harmonies and big chunky guitar riffs, sounding a little like New Found Glory, a band that they supported recently. We then are led into an opening that could well be Trivium, with its bordering-on-thrash metal guitar riffs before the slightly nasal vocals from Benji kick in.
Get ready for a high-octane blast of punk in, 'As We Climb', before things slow right down in the opening seconds to, 'Burn Your Action' whereby Benji sings, "I want to be eccentric// I want to be accepted//I want to break the rule // I want to be like everyone // I want to be like you", before the lid is let off the box of metal riffs, and once again the song builds up, shrugging off the lamb's clothing to show a wolf of a song underneath.
It's very easy to get caught up in hype and believe what people are telling you, however this time the things you may, or may not have read about Fastlane, in their favourable reviews in Big Cheese etc, are in fact correct. On first listen you will find it hard to believe that this is a band from our great shores. Fastlane are one of those few bands that appear from nowhere and grab the British flag and hold it aloft on their musical crusade of the world.
10,000 copies of this album were sold in the first month on sale in Japan, showing that over there the band have a great following, so surely it's not going to be too long before the rest of the world sits up and takes notice!