D_Drive // Dynamotive // Album Review


I will have to be honest and say that D_Drive are fresh on my radar, before receiving the press for this album review I wasn’t familiar with them at all, I guess one reason is that I am not massively up on my J Rock & Metal scene and apart from a few of the big hitters like BABYMETAL & Crossfaith I know little of what is going on, on that side of the pond. #insertallexpsnsespaidinvitationhere I would love to sample Japan and all its beauty for sure, a crazy country to us Westerners due to its extreme culture variations from the UK and US for example, but sure, if we were, all the same, wouldn’t life be boring? Dynamotive however follows up on D_Drive’s international debut ‘Maximum Impact’ released on Marshall Records in 2019.

So I may not be too familiar with D_Drive, but I was raised on the rock! And more importantly on Instrumental Rock! I may have been born a mere mortal but my adopted fathers were Satriani, Vai, Gilbert, Bettencourt and of course, the one the only Weegee Manglehead ( Yngwie Malmsteen ) So Dynamotive will be right up my street. I do however have to admit it is hard to walk in the shadows of the greats so it’ll be interesting to see D_Drive’s take on modern instrumental rock. 

A ten-track album for starts which is a great sign, they are prolific and have a lot to say about their musicianship, the albums opener RedLight,Green Light has a stuttered start which lures you into a false sense of security and as the title says, trip you up a little before it sets off at blistering pace! Harmonising guitars, duelling solo work that captures the imagination right from the off, you can taste a little Satriani and more in the air on this one, hints or Iron Maiden in the harmonising guitar work but a great start. 

The second track ‘Begin Again’ has a more contemporary feel, modern metal in its vibe with a more hefty overall feel, I ‘Remember The Town’ goes one further with an even heftier metal feel, gnarly dark riffage indicates this one is gonna be a hall of a rollercoaster ride, it has a slightly more Gilbert, Racer X feel that is a great homage to the earliest days of his guitar playing. ‘Get Away’ starts at a frantic pace and hits you right between the eyes before kicking into a Vai-esque Wha-Wha lead that makes your eyes water, ‘Be Yourself’ gets even darker, with disjointed harmonies that add to the overall nuances created by a moody backline, almost Randy Rhodes in the vibe at times challenging the listener to get their teeth stuck into this one. ‘Runaway Boy’ again takes us back to the Satriani feel with its catchy lead lick and chorus-infused melody, taking us back to his Not Of This Earth days with a mystical-sounding melody and double harmonising guitar work that infuses Vai and the rest is thrown I for good measure, ‘Thumbs Up’ has that Gilbert and Vai’s cheeky sound once again pushing their sound to the limits with a quirky sounding track that would be one to mesmerise the crowd live.

‘Wings’  is a more bluesy, funky number with a gnarly sounding lead piece that just digs into you from the off, a deviation in sound from the earlier tracks to offer a breather from the intensity of shredding, whilst the penultimate track ‘U_Me” slows things down before exploding into a mind-melting guitar extravaganza! 

‘Breakout’ wraps things up with a gritty, filthy-sounding piece of guitar work that the likes of Zakk Wylde would be proud of … overall Dynamotive is a great album and one that should be embraced by the guitar community looking for a fresh take on instrumental rock, I know it’s so easy to compare any new guitar wizard to those who walked before them but D_Drive are a formidable force, brave in their approach and clearly a very talented bunch of musicians. On the first spin, it’s a bitchin’ album, as with any instrumental album I’d say a few more spins to wrap your head around the complexity of the music will allow you to pick out your favourites and get those earworms embedded. 

Dynamotive lands this coming Friday, August 26th courtesy of Marshall Records.


   Red Light, Green Light 4:49
   Begin Again 5:27
   I Remember The Town 3:24
   Get Away 3:05
   Be Yourself 3:55
   Runaway Boy 4:02
   Thumbs Up 5:04
   Wings 4:08
   U_Me 5:58
   Breakout 5:52



D_DRIVE bring their unique blend of instrumental rock and blend in elements of metal, jazz and progressive music to create their own brand of ‘Driving Rock’. With Seiji and Yuki on guitar, Toshi on bass and Chiiko on drums, the combination of jaw-dropping guitar and fireball rhythm section has entertained audiences all across Japan and around the world, including performances in the UK, USA and China.

The bands international debut album, ‘Maximum Impact’ was released by Marshall Records in 2019, coinciding with a trip to the UK which included performances at Marshall Live Festival and Camden Rocks Festival. Follow up singles ‘Thumbs Up’ and ‘Begin Again’ in 2020 continued D_DRIVE‘s success, including Yuki being featured in Alternative Press’ “Women in metal who don’t need a microphone to take center stage”.

D_DRIVE are:

Yuki – Guitar
Seiji – Guitar
Toshi – Bass Guitar
Chiiko – Drums

Social Media Icon
Social Media Icon
Social Media Icon
Social Media Icon
Social Media Icon
%d bloggers like this: