Well, I did not see that coming. After all, how many times I have received a CD from a band purporting to be the next big thing, or the future of British rawk? Seven, that's how many. However, looks like number eight was the charm, as this is absolutely fabulous.
Draven (named after the character from The Crow, or so a passing goth told me) have the unusual element of twins Frank and Jim Paoli on guitar and vocals, a biological twist of fate that should see some additional publicity come their way, along with Alex de la Fuente on bass and drummer Danny Wood.
Somehow or other they managed to get a demo recording into the hands of uber producer Kevin Shirley, whose name you may recognise from such little bands as Iron Maiden, Aerosmith and The Black Crowes. Not only did they get it into his hands, but they managed to get him to listen to it as well, hence the remarkably good production, that not many new bands can lay claim to.
Draven aren't doing anything new or fancy. Instead, they've just concentrated on taking the best elements from the best classic rock, and stomped all over it. It's proper hard rock, the way it used to be, with a hint of stoner and a wee bit of Blues rock thrown in for good measure. Something that makes album highlights 'Home' and 'Itchy Finger' all the better. It's not perfect as the godawful 'Breathe' demonstrates, but this is still the finest British debut album I've heard in years. Apparently, this is a concept album set around John Milton's poem Paradise Lost, but I was too busy rocking out to pay that much attention.
They're also unafraid of the epic, with 'The Stranger' heading out into eight minute territory, and there is a sense of ambition etched in the grooves. Hopefully, they've got the steely resolve and the live chops to make it work, as it would be a crying shame if they didn't come back with more.