HYPNOTIC DRIVE - Full Throttle

Hypnotic Drive - Full Throttle

9 songs
37:57 minutes
***** **


Paris isnít exactly a desert, but you might believe it when you listen to the debut longplayer Full Throttle from French stoner rock quartet Hypnotic Drive. Founded in 2012, a first EP saw the light of day one year later. Now it is finally time for their first regular album, on which they reprise the four tracks from the EP plus added five new songs. So maybe not the most industrious guys, but Hypnotic Drive really show a true passion for their chosen style.

Inspired by the likes of Karma To Burn, Clutch, Kyuss, etc., the band does not really have an original sound, but rather feel like a journey back to the glorious Nineties when desert rock was the big thing. The opener Five Regrets, which was also the opener on their EP, albeit in a slightly more chaotic fashion, is a surprisingly upbeat stoner rock track whose fast pace makes it the perfect introduction to the band. The following Voodoo Witch starts out much sludgier, with Hypnotic Drive actually reminding of early Black Sabbath, with a mean heavy bass guitar and a tremolo loaded guitar. Itís those doom parts that recur on the slower material and differentiate their music thus from the more typical stoner fare. Faster and slower material alternates pretty well on the album, making the not exactly forty minutes of Full Throttle an entertaining experience that makes you feel as if less time had passed.

On the less bright side, the production feels a little thin at times, with the vocals somehow soaring over the music instead of being more integrated in the overall sound. At times, especially during the solos, one might also wish for a second guitar. But as the band could have recorded two guitar lines with only one guitarist, I guess that this is something they wanted in their acoustic apparition. That brings them closer to the classic power trios of the early Seventies, and in the end actually feels quite charming if also a little dated.

I have never been a huge fan of stoner rock myself, and therefore I like how Hypnotic Drive add elements from doom metal and even a certain snotty punk attitude into the mix. I wish them a lot of success and a faster work ethic so that we wonít have another four years for their next sign of life.

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