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Unimagined Bridges

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Album Review

In 2011, after nine years of playing together, Austin pop-punk combo Driver Friendly were at a career low point. With no new material, no label, and severely dimmed enthusiasm, they somehow managed to shake the cobwebs off their ambitions and turned their band into a charming success story with 2012's Bury a Dream, a crowdfunded, self-released album that eventually got them signed to L.A. alt-rock stalwarts Hopeless Records. The album was given a proper national release and a gap-filling EP Peaks + Valleys was released in 2013 while the band worked on the main event, 2014's Unimagined Bridges, their debut for Hopeless. This upbeat enthusiasm is a major part of Driver Friendly's story, and it informs their music as well. The 11 songs on Unimagined Bridges as a whole are anthemic, infectious, and generally positive, delivered with gusto and earnestness over a bed of noisy guitar riffage and swelling brass sections. The use of horns throughout the album is a nice touch and lends a pleasing atmosphere to conceptual songs like "The Game (This Won't Hurt)" and "The Conversation," which benefit from heavily reverbed, atmospheric sections and a recurring melodic/lyrical theme. Elsewhere, the horns add a strangely wistful air to songs like "Stand So Tall" and "Twenty Centuries of Sleep," which helps set Driver Friendly apart from similar heartfelt pop-punk guitar bands. While the opening vocal section of "Undone" sounds dangerously similar to Arcade Fire's iconic "Wake Up," it's just one of the few miscues here but for the most part, they've turned in a solidly written set with a dynamic and distinctive sound.

Customer Reviews

Brave Band

Super hot tracks. Impressed with their support of the Prancing Elites. Sharp hooks and solid lyrics. More please!

4.99?

This album is fantastic! Not that i'm at all complaining, but why is it only 4.99? lol

Unimagined Bridges

Driver Friendly’s now-signature sound is one of optimism, infectious guitar, and… horns? Absolutely horns!

This band is extremely passionate about the music they write, and one can hear it in every second of this album. After recharging their batteries with “Bury A Dream”, Driver Friendly keep spitting out great tunes full of raw punk charge-forward and far-reaching lyrics. Tyler’s lyrics are sharper than ever. In fact, everything is sharper than ever. The band is in their best form ever.

The music itself may not be as emotionally raw as “Bury A Dream”, and there is not a slow song on this album to be found, but the never-wavering energy is what gives this album its life. Make no mistake, you’ll be singing along by the second play-through. Or maybe the second chorus.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in North Houston, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The members of Texas pop-punk combo Driver Friendly first began playing together in 2002 while still attending high school in North Houston. Hometown gigs led to a decent regional following and in 2004 the group made the decision to relocate to Austin, where they hoped the music industry would take notice. Their self-released debut EP, Not Home Yet, appeared in 2006 followed by their first album, Chase the White Whale (released under the Driver F. moniker), in 2008. When a label deal didn't materialize,...
Full Bio
Unimagined Bridges, Driver Friendly
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