It’s pretty tough to list all of Radio Drive’s accolades and achievements without sounding like a typical hype machine. Truth is, this alternative pop rock project featuring singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Gullickson, has won international awards and nominations. Kevin’s songs have been aired on radio around the world alongside major artists and has topped indie charts and received rave reviews. His tracks are heard on NBC channels, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Comedy Central, Fox Channels, History Channel, Spike TV and Discovery Channel in the USA and TV programs around the world. Moreover Gullickson has worked with a selection of top and Grammy award-winning engineers and producers. Among them Gene Paul (Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, U2), Chris Garcia (Adele and Katy Perry), Stuart Epps (George Harrison, Bill Wyman, Jimmy Page, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Oasis), Robert L. Smith (David Bowie, Aerosmith, Paul McCartney) and Brendan Dekora (Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Idol).
All of which brings us to Radio Drive’s latest album release – “Before The Day Is Through”. This album follows the highly successful streak left by “She Colors My World” (2018), “In The Light” (2019), and the 2020 “Vision” EP. Out via the brand-new 12 Story Records label, the album was mixed and mastered by the Grammy and Academy award-wining engineer/producer, Brendan Dekora. “Before The Day Is Through” harbors 13 skillfully constructed tracks – including 9 originals, 3 reprises, and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s legendary song “Thank You”.
Though Kevin Gullickson played most of the instruments on “Before The Day Is Through”, he also reached out across the globe – from Italy and Venezuela, to Russia, and right at home in the USA, to include those professionals who could enhance the level of perfection Kevin achieved with this recording. The result is an album which consists of everything you would expect and more. And one thing remains undisputed: Kevin Gullickson is very much the star of this show.
There are two questions you need to ask yourself before listening to this album. Firstly, do you like beautiful vocal melodies and gorgeous chord progressions? Secondly, do you like rich, multilayered musical arrangements and highly refined alt-pop and rock productions? If the answer to either of these is an emphatic yes, then “Before The Day Is Through” will be a hugely enjoyable and stunningly satisfying listen.
On the outside, the album’s songs are packed with boundless choruses and just the right amount of grit and shine, while on the inside, the narratives grab onto Kevin’s profound lyricism and run with it. Little by little, each song invites you to dig a little deeper. Straight off the cuff, the album opens with the mid-tempo rocker “It’s Who I Am”, which quickly sets the tone and sonic quality at hand. “In The Now” unfolds Radio Drive’s penchant for earworm singalong choruses.
Kevin improves and adapts upon the stadium-ready sound he has been pursuing in recent years on “Giving the Best”, where smacking drums underline crunchy guitar chords, and more catchy choruses. The drums and the electric again play an important part of driving the momentum of “No Time to Stay”. Once again Radio Drive shows us how to construct a massive sounding chorus, and then adds a fiery guitar solo just for good measure. I can’t imagine anyone feeling anything but euphoria on hearing this tune.
On “What You Know”, Radio Drive turns down the tempo dial down a quarter of a notch, but not the intensity, which still motors the song’s underbelly. If you’re looking for something slower, then “Let My Love Be the Proof”, is the perfect choice. Here Kevin’s voice dominates a beautiful and poignant arrangement that features an amazing lead melody and emotional strings. This leads directly to the sophisticated cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You”.
Kevin Gullickson has put literally every setting on his guitars and keyboards to good use, turning catchy hooks into melodramatic stadium bangers with epic atmospheres. The string orchestrations also play a vital role in creating impacting moods and textures on songs like “The Other Side” and “You Held Me”, while on “In My Dreams Tonight”, the piano and Kevin’s mellifluous voice are enough to carry the song home beautifully.
The album winds down with the reprise versions of “Let My Love Be the Proof”, “You Held Me” and “In My Dreams Tonight”. All throughout this recording, it becomes clear that Kevin’s vocals have never sounded better, while his songwriting oozes with authenticity and charisma. “Before The Day Is Through” absolutely feels like it was created inside a professional recording studio. Every song seems to have an assortment of sonic bells and whistles ably applied. Radio Drive featuring Kevin Gullickson has managed to shine up its already impeccable sound without losing the emotional intensity at its core.