PETER HESSLEIN – Night Drive 3

Lucifer’s Records 2022

Night Drive 3

The last chapter of LUCIFER’S FRIEND guitarist’s trip down nocturnal highways dissolves in the mist of time.

Although Peter Hesslein’s Latin-tinged credentials were apparent ever since “Spanish Galleon” had been launched, it took the veteran several decades to deliberately venture into that direction and explore various eventualities of such a journey. With three albums delivered along this road, he possibly touched upon every nuance of the mood a vehicle occupants can experience on a long trip, yet the series’ final instalment seems to reflect the pleasant fatigue setting in near the end of one’s voyage. The pieces which soundtrack the ride are neither adventurous nor mindlessly monotonous, however; there’s enough hot-rod groove to snap a listener out of hypnagogic state some other numbers may bring on.

That’s how the upbeat, fusion-stricken opener “This Way Home” goes, skipping over the bass-bumps in pursuit of powerful sweetness, before the acoustically kissed “Sunset Drive” offers a highly charged, if exquisite, flamenco swirl, and a delicately funky “At A Crossroads” adds a tad of drama to the array of cinematic panoramas Hesslein’s six string paint for an hour here. The tracks shift their tenor ever so slightly as to move between the tunes almost seamlessly, Peter’s daughter Fabiola weaving her vocal refrain into the twangy fabric of “Driving All Night” – as opposed to a full-on sublime ballad “Chapters Of My Life” which closes the album, the cut co-written by another guitar great, Ray Fenwick, and voiced by former LUCIFER’S FRIEND warbler Mike Starrs, or “In The Fast Lane” which leads to a discotheque. After this, the merrily romantic “On The Horizon” and the buzzing “No Backseat Driver” have no surprise attached to their melodic caress and technically impressive delivery, although the rumbling “Faster Than A Slug” and “A Gnat In My Life” – respectively picking up where “Sabre Dance” left off and extending “Flight of the Bumblebee” – might be the most infectious compositions on display.

Now that the lyrical race is done, Peter Hesslein can freely rock on further down the road.


February 13, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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