Four Wheel Drive SET THE HOUSE ON FIRE at The Relentless Garage

Four Wheel Drive is our favourite hard-working hard-rock band. With 85 live shows under their belt (just within the last 12 months) they have been creating rock n roll havoc far and wide across these green lands. This motley crew of four young lads from Twickenham have been busy creating zinging hot, blisteringly  fast, rollicking and  roistering good-time rock music for all  the delighted crowds who have come to see them at their amazingly electrifying live shows.

Their ethos is simple-  to excite you and to entertain you. They live, love and preach from the book of rock.  And they are as serious about it as any dedicated and righteous disciple should be. But their bundles of songs are always full of bright airy spirit, mountains of fun and garnished generously with humour. In our opinion 4WD is the best hard rock band in the country.

Kicking off at the superb Relentless Garage venue in Islington, London with their thrusting cock-sure hit ‘White Lines’ (it is reminiscent of something from ‘Bon Scott’ era AC/DC) and moving swiftly on to some new songs, like the satisfyingly ballistic and riotous ‘Get a Move On’ and the monumental and shuddering hair-raiser ‘Looking My Way’,  this band was on fire from the outset.

Each individual performance is rampant and lusty. Ben and Paddy both attack their guitars with the kind of crazy eyed madness you would use if you were trying to strangle a scarecrow on stage.  Flaying, hissing and biting-  they buzzed dangerously around the stage, and they also made several mad raids into the crowd. And when they got together for the riffs, there was always the imminent danger that the two bouffant haired axe maestros would become permanently velcroed together by their frizzy locks.

Jamies (bass and lead vocals) gives each song heart, lungs and soul. His voice is so rasping and so high that it seems to be teetering on the edge of disaster. At any moment you might expect his larynx to come exploding out. And as usual the furious battering energy from Will on drums adds the power, precision and pulsating fury to each of the set-pieces. It is all crazy hell-for-leather stuff-  and yet is quite amazingly controlled and astonishingly well phased. But that’s what you get from a band who works this hard, so they know how to deliver style, quality and substance.

The band went on to play one of my favourites, the ‘Big Fat and Ugly’ track from their highly successful ‘High Roller’ album. This song manages to combine the best of AC/DC sounding riffs with the magic and sheer quality of vintage Stones. It is a pondering, prowling pouncing song. Full of raw power- with those hungry guitars clamoring for greater space to create even bigger sounds. Great fun!

Ending the show on the highest of highs with ‘High Roller’ the crowd finally surrendered and went absolutely crazy- dancing, jumping and clapping wildly. This truly was the very greatest that rock has to offer. And the crowd was in a frenzy of excitement… hungry for more.

Some folk have said that Four Wheel Drive are like those ‘Runnin’ Wild’ Australian rockers ‘Airborne’ but this is a tad unfair… 4WD are far more impressive!

The future of British rock n ‘roll is safe … In Their Hands.

© Neil_Mach 25 November 2011


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