Sidewalk Driver – For All The Boys And Girls (2009)

Sidewalk Driver
For All The Boys And Girls

Sidewalk Driver are know for their over the top live performances. Anyone who has ever walked out of the club covered in glitter and confetti after one of their shows will tell you that. They’re one of those bands you’ll tell your kids about having seen back in the day.

The thing that makes Sidewalk Driver truly special, though, is that they manage to back up all the glitz and glamor with great musicianship and songs so catchy no quarantine can contain them. For All The Boys And Girls is a non-stop barrage of clever lyrics and big rock hooks. Sidewalk Driver have managed to create majestic anthems with enough depth and imagination to make them personable, even when the scenarios presented within are so absurd that few people will actually be able to relate to them.

“Dancing With Her Friends” gets things going on the right foot. Phasered guitars and a snappy beat propel the carefree lyrics. “Marianne” is heartfelt and almost feels like an updated “Maggie May” at times. “Seeds & Stems (Just Like Angels)” may be the greatest song Elton John never wrote. The intro to “Radio” reminds me of Sweet with its glam meets bubblegum sound.

Things get awesomely weird on “Wake Up, John!” and “Jenny Don’t Really Like The Boys”. The former is heavily indebted to David Bowie, the latter to Lorena Bobbitt. In lesser hands, songs like these would become novelties. With Sidewalk Driver, these songs become essential.

It’s pretty clear by this point that I think Sidewalk Driver are pretty great. Would now be a good time to point out that I haven’t even mentioned the song yet? You know, the song. “Tornado”. “Tornado” is the song that makes people’s heads spin. “Tornado” is the song that makes my head spin.

With their skillful mix of witty lyrics, undeniable melodies and classic rock sound, Sidewalk Driver have managed to make an album of uplifting music with artistic integrity. That’s not an easy thing to do. Most happy music is written off as insubstantial. Cynical music is almost always taken more seriously. I’ve always said I admire The Flaming Lips for being able to make thoughtful, joyous music. I feel the same way about Sidewalk Driver.

Holy moly. I’ve just made references to Sweet, David Bowie, Elton John, Rod Stewart and The Flaming Lips. Are Sidewalk Driver really that good? Yes. Yes they are.

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