JUNE 8th 2016

Review by Metal Mom

Review by: Metal Mom

Track Listing:
01. Touch
02. Pedal to the Metal
03. In 'R Blood
04. Said It All
05. Writing on the Wall
06. Rainbows and Hurricanes
07. Love Will Win in the End
08. Rain of Fire
09. In Your Arms
10. Im the Nyte
11. Lost in You
12. All I Wanna Do

Some history on the band:
In the late 80's keyboardist and songwriter extraordinaire Mark Mangold (Valhalla, American Tears, Touch, Michael Bolton), after the experience with Fran Cosmo (who later went on to become the Boston singer) met, through a mutual friend/songwriter, Al Fritsch coming out from the experience with the band TZR.

Mark had the chance to play him some songs he was working on and he was completely blown away by Al's voice and they eventually decided to create a band. The duo started very soon to write and record some demos that eventually earned them the deal with CBS. In their first album the duo was helped by a good deal of friends - Tony Bruno, Bob and Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Kenny Aronoff, Benny Mardones, Fiona and many others. The record was just being released when there was a big re-organization at CBS and the band found itself with no support.

Lead Vocals: Al Fritsch
Guitars: Tommy Denander, Al Fritsch, Daniel Palmqvist
Keyboards: Mark Mangold, Al Fritsch
Ken Sandin, Al Fritsch, Paul St. James, Alessandro Del Vecchio
Drums: Pontus Engborg, Peter Yttergren, Francesco Jovino, Kenny Aronoff
Background Vocals:
Goran Edman, Chandler Mogel, Ted Poley, Al Fritsch, Mark Mangold, Kevin Osborne, Randy Jackson, James Jackson, Kevin Osborne, Thomas Vikstrom, Peppy Castro.

Vocals “In the Nyte” Al, Mark with special appearance by Kayvon Zand Vocal Duet on “In Your Arms”: Al and Fiona

Meanwhile the record was being very well received, especially in Europe, but the band couldn't get any support from the record company. That's why Mark and Al decided to be released from the deal and immediately got the interest of Music For Nations who signed the band and brought over D,SS to England to tour in support of the band FM. Playing live, brought Mark and Al to write songs that were more aggressive and would work in that environment (for instance "Drivin' Wheel", "Pedal to the Metal" (D,SS's "Deep Purple" derived set opener), "Veil Of Tears", etc. They also played "Can't Get Enough" (by Bad Company) which went over very well as a last encore and which ended up on the second record. Coming back to the States D,SS immediately began working on "Drivin' Wheel" the second CD. The band toured extensively in support of FM (once again in UK) and UFO (in Germany).

Coming home the duo began to work on more songs and eventually recorded "Excelerator" which was a more eclectic CD, ranging from the instrumental title track, to the bluesy "Let It Ride". After having been on a hiatus for quite a long time Al and Mark still wrote and worked together even if there was no record to work on. This brought finally to the release on Frontiers - during 1998 - of a "Best of" album which included 5 brand new songs.

Mark Mangold meanwhile became involved in several other project (most notably the super-group The Sign, who became the melodic rock sensation in the year 2000) and had the chance to re-focus on the Drive, She Said project only during the year 2001, when he joined again with Al writing some unbelievable and one of his most varied albums ever: "Real Life", after which the duo went on a hiatus again.
In 2014, after Mangold performed with Touch at the Firefest, he was eager to rock again. So he reached out to Frontiers and the label willingly agreed to work on another Drive, She Said album which could showcase again the amazing talents of the Mangold/Fritsch duo.

And this brings us to “Pedal to the Metal" the final result, a melodic rock gem, guaranteed to please all melodic rock fans. Well time to review this cd, and I have no previous experience, so it will be one that I won’t compare to previous. Really, to tell the truth, each album should be reviewed this way, don’t look at what happened or what it sounded like in the past, take on the full experience of what they have put out today. So here we go.

First, I always want to make sure I listen more than twice, you can’t give it a once over and get the full experience. So after about 4 listens, I can honestly say I wish I had heard of them before. I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Always refreshing to have a talent that excels and can put out something extraordinaire for the fans. Music has you moving your head, tapping your feet and fingers, and it honestly blocks out everything else you might think you can get done while listening. It really held my interest, and that’s what I look for in an album. It wasn’t just one song either, the whole album held my attention. Amazing job guys. Now I am off, it’s a sunny day, and this is the perfect album to drive a convertible and crank up these tunes. A definite must have.

Pedal to the Metal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0aPCTQT_84