Album Review: Sunday Driver - 'Across The Sunshine State EP'

18 August 2012 | 11:19 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Below par melodic rock for cash.

Across The Sunshine State’ is an EP of unreleased tracks from the now defunct melodic rock band Sunday Driver. This almost retrospective release would probably be far more exciting if the band had ever reached the popularity level of their peers.

There are reasons why that never happened. In part, it was perceivably due to their songs never being quite strong enough to cause more than a ripple in their respective scene. However, it is not for a lack of trying with the band more than capable musicians. This new EP, as with most releases that collate songs not good enough to make the cut on full lengths, isn’t really that great. And, concurrently seems more like a last ditch effort to squeeze some dollars out of the group’s corpse.

That being said, fans of the band will be excited by the opportunity to hear something new. And, while not great, these five tracks feature some competent melodic rock tunes that make great background music. Sunday Driver were originally around for ten years, starting in 1999, and released two full length records. The tracks on this EP were recorded in 2004 and produced by Paul Trust (Say Anything, Diecast), and offer a further glimpse into the band’s song writing in their later years.

The EP opens with its strongest track 'Pack Your Bags', which mirrors the melodic rock of its era extremely well - powerful guitar riffs, catchy chorus lines, everything needed to form a good rock song. It’s actually a wonder as to why this track was originally cut. The other songs on this EP however, fail to draw the same response.

The pace picks up for 'Can’t Turn Back Now', which is driven by its strong beat, but seems to be missing some heart. 'Miserable Life' is one of the finest moments on the recording from a guitar point of view, but is some memorable melody lines short of being a solid song. The EP closes with 'Conversation Ends', another of the more energetic tracks that sticks to a fairly standard formula and essentially sums up the passable nature of this release.

Sunday Driver are no more. ‘Across The Sunshine State’ is by no means the piece of work they want left as their legacy. Instead, it is more like the final reveal, a way to tell fans “Now we’ve told you everything.” Sometimes however, things are better left unsaid.