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Album Review : Junkyard Drive – Look At Me Now

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Review by Lydia Evans for MPM

Danish hard rockers Junkyard Drive return with their fourth album, Look At Me Now, on 12th April 2024. The band welcomes two new guitarists for the album, Oliver Hartmann and Kristoffer Kristensen.

Along with lead vocalist Kristian Johansen, bassist Mikkel Sjus, and drummer Claus Munch, the band is on top of their game. Formed back in 2014, Junkyard Drive has since boasted three critically acclaimed albums and is one of the most successful bands in Danish hard rock.

Lead singer Kris speaks of the new album: “Since we released Electric Love in 2022, we have gone through a process that can be heard in the new tracks…we are tired of rock music always being put in the booth with draft beer and festivity.

We want to show that rock music can develop and that it can contain sensitivity and depth. That’s why we had to go inside ourselves, to write texts that were more honest and that have something more at heart.

When you go into yourself, you also have to come face to face with your own weaknesses. It can be a hard, but also very learning process. We have experienced that it has also taken a toll on the band’s internal relationships as you go through topics that can be tough, but we are incredibly proud to have
gone through the process, because the lyrics and sound we have created have more layers than we have previously performed”.

I completely agree with and respect Kris’ sentiment. Rock bands that add that emotion and depth to their music really stand out and take hard rock to another level.

The band has “restored focus and renewed the joy of playing” – Look At Me Now reflects this. It was mixed and mastered by Soren Anderson (Glenn Hughes, Jesper Binzer, Electric Guitars) at Medley Studios.

The album begins with Somewhere To Hide, an upbeat track that embodies the spirit of hard rock with soaring vocals and distorted guitars. Shoot From The Hip has a retro feel about it, capturing an 80s hard rock vibe. The rhythm section is strong to back up the precise guitar solo and Kris’ clean, impressive vocals. I find all of the band so proficient and precise.

Kris is truly an amazing vocalist who shines in this album. Tearaway particularly shows off the vocals, as well as the rocking drums. Black Wolf is one of the stand out tracks to me. Something about it is unique with the clean melodic guitars and steady percussion starting us off.

The strong bass is also stand-out. Beauty Fool almost has a 70s rock and roll feel to it in its opening riff. The vibe is upbeat with a powerful chorus, booming bassline and shredding guitar solo.

Blood Red Sky has a steady exactness about it with powerful guitars and vocals filled with emotion. Saw You Hanging There builds from vocals and low-key guitar to a high powered song with a harmonic chorus.

The album is dynamic, with both songs that sound modern and songs with a retro sound, all encapsulating the hard rock genre.

The Tide Is High and Pipe Down are both good true rock songs, with rocking guitar solos and heavy drums. The album finishes with Afterglow. It’s a low-key, acoustic song that captures the sensitivity and depth the band wanted to express in this album, while still being considered in the rock genre.

I think it’s a great choice to finish the album with – we see how expressive the album is as you listen from start to finish.

The band will be touring in Denmark this year on their Look At Me Live tour

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