Animal Drive – “Bite!” (Frontiers Music)
‘…we’ve got armadillos in our trousers. It’s really quite frightening…’! Winner of the 2016 Fender award for the Best Male Vocal of the year in Croatia, Dino Jelusic is no stranger to success, having already won the first 2003 Junior Eurovision in Copenhagen! Since those early days, he’s formed Animal Drive, and along the way was chosen by the late, great Paul O’Neill to tour as a featured vocalist on Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s most recent U.S. tour, which is how he crossed paths with Jeff Scott Soto and came to the attention of Frontiers – who immediately offered him a deal! Playing balls deep hard rock along the lines of Skid Row complete with shredding, wailing guitars and hammering drums, Jelusic himself sounds like a more macho (if you can believe it) version of Dave Coverdale when he’s not crooning like Seb Bach and boy, does it all work a treat on this stunning debut! Pumped to the max with testosterone and always climaxing in a massively catchy chorus, the 11 tracks on “Bite!” do exactly that, completed by wailing Slash solos and heart grabbing keyboards thanks to the superb band that he’s built around him. From ‘Hands Of Time’ with its mixture of tempered power and unfettered melody the super catchy emotional chorus is like an incredible mix of Tyketto and Skid Row – oh, and just wait for the keyboard and guitar solos – to ‘Father’, a moving ballad exuding emotion that only gets deeper as it builds to such levels you could probably fill a stadium with tears! If you like it hard n heavy with crunching riffs and power drums, then ‘Fade Away’ does the trick, complete with lion man screams into the night and blood red solos that will have you howling into the night too….honestly, its that good! Easily the best band in Croatia and a definite top rank contender for Eastern Europe, Dino Jelusic and his Animal Drive have the prey of success in their sights and are stalking their way to that goal in classy style!