Darrell ‘Dwarf’ Millar and Automan.ca are back with the follow-up to 2009’s POCKET CHANGE disc. For BACKSEAT SURPRISE we find an album that is more consistent in style with a real good musical flow to it. Dare I say a more ‘mature’ sound? Maybe more ‘focused’ is a better term to use? Either way what you get is an album that you will love and want to crank it up every chance you get. For those of you like myself that loved POCKET CHANGE, you will love the music on this disc even more.
For BACKSEAT SURPRISE Darrell has resurrected “Livin’ Bitter Better” and “Porno Queen” from debut E.P, TEST DRIVE X 5 but amped them up significantly. The new versions are heavier, more upbeat and fit in with the rest of the new compositions flawlessly. This makes for a perfect way to start and finish the new disc. The songs in between are all hard rocking tunes with a groove. They have a bit of that 70’s Southern Rock groove happening (Think ZZ Top) just a bit heavier, not faster. Drums and Bass keep this groove consistent throughout the disc. Solid and melodic bass-lines coupled with a steady back-beat make for one great rhythm section. The guitar sound has that right amount of distortion, not clean but not too dirty and muddy. A nice overall tone to it. Darrell has progressed as a vocalist since the last album as the songs are more melodic with more range to them. The songs on BACKSEAT SURPRISE are all good and choosing a favorite is hard to do but “Forty-Five” and “Bona-Fide” stand out a bit amongst the pack. The little guitar licks in “Bona-Fide” are a nice little addition that help makes the track memorable. The tongue in cheek lyrics on these two songs also add to the overall enjoyment of the album. Many of the lines ring true to real life.
An excellent album from every angle possible. Buy it and Crank it up as it is one that is sure to please everyone that listens to it. We may only be at the beginning of 2012 but I can almost guarantee that BACKSEAT SURPRISE will make your personal “Best Of 2012″ lists at the end of the year. It will make mine. Mark my words.
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Livin\’ Bitter Better
Rock It Together
Sweaty Hand Of Fate
Hurts To Be Alive
Down To the Bone