1. Skip A Day
2. Sense of Self
5. I Like You
6. Drifting By
8. What You Wanna
2nd Place Driver debuts with this self-titled EP. These electro-rockers are obviously influences by David Bowie & Depeche Mode and also you can hear an occasional Nine Inch Nails & Duran Duran influence. This independent debut EP, which is self-produced, shows the diversity in their songs already. An eclectic mix of pop, rock, alternative, crossover, electronica & industrial, topped off with a progressive flavour from time to time shows this band found a sound of their own. Singer Rias Baarda’s vocals sound a lot like David Bowie’s and brain behind the sound of the band, Bart Dietvorst (guitar & samples) brings in refreshing ideas. Together they form the core of this band, completed by Ron Claasen (bass) & Bart vd Put (drums). Together they put work in this interesting debut EP and a lot will lead from it, I’m sure.
Song by song review
Skip A Day
2nd Place Driver starts off with the best song on the album. Skip A Day is an up-tempo power ballad. Or maybe it’s a little quick to call it a ballad. It’s a love song with outstanding lyrics and Rias’ lyrics are crystal-clear. The tingling guitar and steady bass, filled with the electro-sound and well-executed drums tie this song together like a hand in a glove. An example of the outstanding lyrics: ”And now you think you’re far from grace/That’s because you never dared to face/What you longing to embrace/To never let it go/That you never get enough/Sometimes the world just gets too rough/And you have a storm to cast away/And skip a day.”. This is the song that will probably present them a break-through.
Sense Of Self
Sense Of Self starts off as an industrial song, in the likes of Bowie & Nine Inch Nails. Also Rias’ vocals do seem to remind of a latter Bowie. In this song the members of 2nd Place Driver show once again that a mix of electronica, rock & industrial doesn’t exclude a melodic sound. This song has catchy hooks, crazy vocals and a very tight rhythm section. The guitar effects really fit in the song and it all merges together like it’s supposed to. It misses something that Skip A Day did have. Something that makes it possible for you to get sucked into that song. Still an awesome song though.
Highlife is a perfect live song. It carries on with a laid-back tempo and then has catchy guitar riffs. The samples in the song are really adding nicely to the whole thing. Good lyrics and tight rhythm section. Well done.
A eclectic mix of industrial & electronica. Probably the most creative track on the album. But I think it misses some emotion. The guitar is exceptional but it misses the melodic sound 2nd Place Driver excels in, in the other songs. Could’ve been on a Bowie album. But on there it probably would’ve been a bonus track. Really has the same feel to it. Which is definitely a good thing.
I Like You
A funny song with a good mix of rock & industrial. Rias shows diversity in his vocals in this song. The lyrics aren’t as deep as 2nd Place Driver lyrics usually are. But the song has some interesting melodic lines that make it worth listening to. It reminds me of Eels sometimes.
One of the better songs on the album. Good, eclectic mix of rock, industrial & electronica again. Rias’ vocals come out excellent again, accompanied by the amazing guitar and fabulous rhythm section. ”And the clouds are drifting by/And the sun is shining high.” Yeah, all is well.
Energetic, yet melodic industrial song. The synthbass that’s added to the song merges really well with the electric guitar and then the melodic samples and the drums tie the whole thing together. Pretty good lyrics but as it was with Cosmocide, it misses a bit of emotion.
What You Wanna
Seems to be one of the older songs. Of all the songs on the record I think I like the lyrics for What You Wanna least. It sounds more like a bonus track. A well-executed one but a song that will not make the album cut when these guys will make an album. It’s catchy, I must give them that, but it misses the class of most of their songs.