Speeding Along

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

Punk rock is without question one of the milestones in the history of popular music. In the late 1970s, a wave of young bands turned the music industry on its head by pounding out songs that were raw and untutored, yet exciting and full of energy and passion.

Hungry for something different in the age of disco, the record-buying public seized upon these new bands, and a worldwide phenomenon was born.

The ‚’70s may be long gone, but the spirit of punk is very much alive and well in today‚’s growing “emo-rock”movement. “Emo”is short for “emotional,”and this style of music is characterized by having both soft, atmospheric and loud, driving parts in each song, combined with introspective, searching lyrics.

Santa Cruz band Time Spent Driving, which plays at the Catalyst this Friday is a rising force in the indie/emo scene and has recently released a new CD, “Just Enough Bright,”on Sessions Records.

Time Spent Driving began life in August 1999, and by early 2000 it was developing a solid following at its live shows in the band’s hometown and around California. Never turning down the opportunity to play a shovy the members‚’ hard-working attitudes soon caught the attention of both a booking agent and a record company, Unfun Records.

Two West Coast tours resulted, and a six-track CD, “Walls Between Us,”was released in November 2000, followed by some European concert dates. The band then was approached by Sessions Records to rerelease its debut and record a follow-up full-length CD, a proposition to which the band members happily agreed.

Since then, the band has toured widely around the United States, and a second visit to Europe is imminent. Its CD, “Just Enough Bright,”released last month, is an extremely strong offering and contains 10 tracks of moody melodic rock.

Vocalist-guitarist Jon Cattivera‚’s lyrics are intelligent and thought provoking. On the opening track ‘Angel and I,”he recalls a past relationship: “Thinking back on all the times we strained to have Looking back on all the things we almost did, hope you had a good time.‚Äù

The other songs continue in a similar vein, exploring love and loss with honesty and insight.

In addition to Cattivera on lead vocals and guitar, Time Spent Driving comprises Derek Pabich on guitar, Kem Gallione on drums and new member Michael Hicks on bass.

The band members play together as a tight, solid unit and make effective use of dynamics in their sound. Time Spent Driving‚’s appearance at The Catalyst this weekend is part of a current touring schedule that will take the band as far north as Seattle and as far south as Anaheim, again a testament to the members‚’ hard work and dedication to their music.

Time Spent Driving is a band that is going places, both literally and figuratively .

First published in “411”, The Salinas Californian, June 11, 2002

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