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Autodrive - 1995 Autodrive

ARTIST: Autodrive
ALBUM: Autodrive
LABEL: Long Island Records
YEAR: 1995


LINEUP: Jimmy Murdock - lead vocals, bass * Wes Dearth (a.k.a John Wesley Dearth, III) - guitars * Paul Prator - keyboards * Mark Prator - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Turn Me On * 02 Borderline * 03 You've Changed * 04 Take Care My Love * 05 Keep Us Out Of Danger * 06 If There Was A Way * 07 Stay With Me * 08 She's A Little Selfish * 09 Move On * 10 Foreign Force * 11 New World Machine (Bonus Track) * 12 Best In You (Bonus Track) * 13 Going Down The Hard Way (Bonus Track)

This Tampa Bay outfit formed as far back as the early 80's. The founding members were guitarist Wes Dearth and drummer Mark Prator. They hovered around the Florida scene for a decade before jacking it in during 1990. A shame that they couldn't break through for a record deal during the 80's. However, they did leave a gem behind; a selection of their music assembled in 1991 from all accounts. It may have released locally in the early 90's but eventually found its way to European label Long Island Records who reissued the 'Autodrive' album in 1995. I compare Autodrive to bands like Biloxi, Shotgun Symphony and Tradia, no doubt due to the keyboard work of Paul Prator.

The Songs
Kicking off with 'Turn Me On', the band head out of the garage with a tune that is keyboard friendly, and very 80's oriented. 'Borderline' takes us deeper into the 80's AOR with gorgeous work and big harmony vocals, kinda like early Bon Jovi and Surgin. 'You've Changed' retains a restrained and softened style, not quite hitting their straps yet. 'Take Care My Love' is a soaring affair, with more keyboard and vocal goodness. 'If There Was A Way' and 'She's A Little Selfish' lift the guitar quotient up slightly, and on these two, the delivery method lifts to racy levels. 'Stay With Me' on the other hand drops the speed but is no less appealing, and with 'Move On' touches the styles from all those band mentioned earlier in this article. 'Foreign Force' is a different sounding track altogether. Mostly pomp with a flair for the dramatic. The album contains three bonus tracks, one of which 'New World Machine' is featured as a video below.

In Summary
Though the band are long gone from the scene, both Dearth (real name John Wesley) [click here] and drummer Mark Prator [click here] are highly active in the music scene. both as recording engineers and live/studio musicians. Like many releases here, it would've been good if we highlighted this album much sooner than we have, however, it's better to be late than never. A pretty rare find on CD these days, good luck in your search.

Autodrive - 1995 New World Machine

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#1 | gdazegod on April 08 2018 22:46:30
Both Dearth and Mark Prator have played with lots of bands in the prog and metal scene. Dearth (as John Wesley) is well known in the Marillion and Porcupine Tree camps, through his solo career, and performing as an intro act to both on the odd occasion.
#2 | jefflynnefan on April 09 2018 03:00:10
I have a lot of Long Island Records cds as they are one label I'm willing to take chances with. But I've never got this one. It doesn't sound too bad.
#3 | melodiapositiva on April 09 2018 16:40:16
This is a very good album indeed,but sadly the video posted is maybe the worst song of the album ,and it sounds different than the others on the album .
#4 | Emda on April 09 2018 18:20:57
This is a great CD possibly the best on Long Island Rec. IMHO. Turn Me On, You've changed, Stay With Me, Foreign Force are brilliant songs and I have always loved the polished, crystal clear production /mixing. Stunning!
#5 | swazi on April 09 2018 19:33:41
Hmmm ..., I still prefer both Stan Meissner releases on the LIR label and Bystander, but this Autodrive definitely is a great disc! Smile
#6 | gdazegod on April 09 2018 20:27:50
The only reason why that video is up is that it is the only live footage available. I prefer live footage over static images when sourced from YouTube.
#7 | englandashes on April 09 2018 21:30:27
Great to see this here, was one of the first LIR I purchased at the time, couple of years later picked up the cassette tape which it was initially released, track listing was slightly different and no extra tracks. Checked tonight and I still have it, luckily I did try to sell the tape on eBay but no takers, so looking back happy it failed to sell. Didn’t realise it was John Wesley, I even have a couple of his in my collection.

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