The Defiants

Glam rock is back!
December 1, 2023

For the young readers out there, the 90’s was the decade where glam hard rock died. After NIRVANA released Nevermind on 27 August 1991, the until then, dominating hair metal rock started to fade fast and it was replaced by a more “realistic” no frills heavier rock with the Grunge movement. However, some glam bands came late to the party and did not get the memo. DANGER DANGER was one of these bands that got a little notoriety and then faded away from the scene. Despite some albums released after the Grunge era, and a number of band member changes, DANGER DANGER never flirted with great success despite being a good band.

From the ashes of DANGER DANGER, Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel and Rob Marcello created THE DEFIANTS that is presenting us with their third album Drive. The album does not have a drummer credited, not even on the cover. I thought that it was a power trio by the cover (I love power trios), but actually there is a good drummer behind the tracks as the 4th member and he should be credited. If I find his name during this review I will let you know. The 11 song album starts with “Hey Life”. Good building guitar riff in the beginning of the song turning into a more heavy riff that goes throughout the tune keeping the energy up. A good starter for the album showing that good hard rock from the 80's and 90’s when well executed, is a pleasure to hear. This song has a lyric video on Youtube.

 The second tune is “Go Big Or Go Home” which is typical American banter since everything there is extra large, including the people. Good catchy song with dancing guitar solos sporadically spread in the melody. A good variation of riffs and a good guitar solo. Bassist Bruno Ravel does a good job in every song. However, as mentioned several times in my reviews, the bass needs something to say. Needs to show up more in the mix. Needs to get out of the riff sometimes to explore those pentatonic scales a little more in order to not be covered by the guitar riff all the time. No, I'm not a bass player. I'm a drummer, and drummers like bass players. This song has also a video on Youtube.

 The album follows with a great vocal introduction advising you the name of the song “19 Summertime”. This is the song that brings to my mouth the taste of the good hard rock well executed that will always be relevant. The song brings you back to the year nineteen summertime which I believe can be the year of any great summertime you may have had in your life. Great vocal arrangements and backing vocals. You can check a Youtube video for this one as well. Are you ready? Here comes the ballad. Or maybe a semi-ballad. With a heavy keyboard commanding the melody, the band presents us with “Miracle”. A good romantic song that does everything you expect from a hard rock band when they go romantic. Suffering vocals, light arrangements and a melodic solo. Good ballad, but it did not leave a mark in my metal heart.

 The band gets their energy back with “Against The Grain”. Another good tune with a lot of “ouoh” chants sprinkled in the melody. Vocalist Paul Laine has a great voice for the genre with a lot of range and this is displayed throughout the album. He also plays rhythm guitar which is always a plus. “So Good” starts a good guitar introduction and also has “ouoh” chants followed by “aaha” and some “uuhu” (ok, I will stop).  This is a good hard rock song that invites you to sing along with its catchy melody. Great fast guitar solo is also included.  Hard rock from a couple of decades ago used to have a lot of chants in the melody for the audience to scream during concerts. Some famous bands made their meaningless chants part of the chorus with great effect. Who does not remember “nananana nanana nananana” ( this is the last one I promise) from Bon Jovi’s Born To Be My Baby? And who does not want to forget?

 “Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is a softer, more romantic tune that brings some WHITESNAKE vibes. Veteran guitar player Rob Marcello does not disappoint and shows he is a master of the instrument with good fast, and also melodic solos together with well thought arrangements. One thing you can’t deny is that the 80’s and 90’s produced great guitar players like Warren Di Martini, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai and a guy named Eddie Van Halen. Rob Marcello drinked a lot from that fountain and it shows. A somewhat different vibe comes with “Another Time Another Place”. Much more pop than rock, it did not tingle my hard rock feelings. This is probably the most commercial song of the album. Romantic but with an up tempo that differs the tune from a slow romantic ballad. A good song but too soft for my taste. 

 We are reaching the end with “The Night To Remember”. A reasonable tune that unfortunately did not do much to me. Maybe because it sounds like a million other songs in the genre. Despite liking the hard rock from the 80's and 90’s, I always expect something new to be brought every time I listen to an album from a band of that era making a comeback to today's world. I have the impression that some bands still use the same formula over and over and nothing new is displayed. A little more originality wouldn’t hurt. The album comes to a conclusion with “Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now” that brings the energy back. Sprinkled with guitar dexterity all over and a good vocal performance, the song is not the best of the album but still a good tune to end it.

THE DEFIANTS is a good band that also has good live performances registered on Youtube. I believe that the songs on this album will be a good addition to their live set since in a concert environment, songs tend to get more powerful on their delivery. The album has good energetic hard rock songs, a few semi ballads and a pop song that in my opinion, does not look like rock. This was the recipe from almost every hard rock band from a couple of decades ago and I hope it still works for them and their audience. But for me, it could be better. I will finish praising the good work of the drummer that I still could not find the name of. Wait!, let me try on Google. Ok, I believe Van Romaine is his name and this may be his second album with the band. Why is he not in the car?

7 / 10









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"Drive" Track-listing:

1.Hey Life

2.Go Big Or Go Home

3.19 Summertime

4.What Are We Waiting For


6.Against The Grain

7.So Good

8.Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

9.Another Time Another Place

10.The Night to Remember

11.Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now


The Defiants Lineup:

Paul Laine- Vocal, Guitar

Bruno Ravel-Bass

Rob Marcello-Guitar


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