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Hard Driver: Freedom Machine

Yes, he's at it again. Greece's Stavros Papadopoulos positively exploding onto the blues scene since he and his band Super Vintage teamed up with Grooveyard Records. He's also a driving force in Freerock Saints and the new album from Universal Hippies has barely stopped spinning in the player as Hard Driver revs round the corner with a biker rock blues boost. Featuring the same trio who make up those damn Hippies, Papadopoulos is joined once more by the bass bonanza brought by Jim Petridis and drum thunder of Chris Lagios.

It would appear no matter what this trio of hard riffing, groove driving dudes lay down, they are masters of the arts. Their Freedom Machine heading out on the highway and looking for adventure with such a cutting edge that I'm amazed this silver machine hasn't slashed its own tyres. If you haven't guessed, the loose theme here is throwing a leg over the saddle and kicking the engine into gear, "Ride To Live", "Mr. Highway" and "Electric Ride" all hitting the road at speed and leaving thick, black groove infused tyre marks on the asphalt. The fuel for this hard rocking, top speed road trip? Well, the frets of Papadopoulos, of course, the man ripping and snorting out a gaggle of good times that grab you by the throat, before flashing a mile wide grin. It's big, bold and threatening, but ultimately all about getting down with it and having a good time. And boy will you have a good time as they shift through the gears on "Freedom Machine" itself, the vocals of Papa-Stavros rich and full, as the rhythm section polishes up this full force roadster until its groove gleams and glistens in the midday sun.

The spoken word intro to "Long Way" adds to the scene, the funky background grooves underpinning a swinging sixties English accent to add to the threat and thrills this new biker gang want to terrorise the neighbourhood with. Midway through these macho machinations, a happier voice invites us to experience some of the most amazing biking tricks and flicks you could hope to find (unbelievable speeds, bikes jumping over other bikes and all for the princely sum of $2!!). That the righteous riff that kicks in again after the enticing offer fades out, is even more exhilarating, tells you all you need to know about Hard Drive and their Freedom Machine.

Factor in the howling frets as big Papa charges up his "Electric Ride" (do instrumentals come more energised than this?), or that his axe slinging smokes hotter than his bike's burning exhaust, and this really is a mighty machine to marvel at. If the roar of riffs and authentic bluesy, hard rock is what gets your motor running, then you simply won't put a wheel wrong here!


Track Listing
1. FREEDOM MACHINE

2. RIDE TO LIVE

3. MR. HIGHWAY

4. LIVE FOR BETTER DAYS

5. MOJO MAN

6. TOUGH GAME

7. LONG WAY

8. ELECTRIC RIDE

9. PRIDE

10. PRICE TO PAY

11. FALLING

Added: August 18th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Freedom Machine at The Grooveyard
Hits: 377
Language: english

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