Tom Sinclair
April 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Grand Drive

Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A-

America has always had anglophile bands who sought to re-create that special je ne sais quoi of British rock & roll. Now, England is starting to export bands of Brits who strive to sound like Yanks. One of the best of this bunch is GRAND DRIVE, whose self-titled Stateside debut on RCA/Private Music is a treasure trove of soulful country-rock delights not far removed from, say, the Jayhawks’ aesthetic. With its reflective mood and affecting use of instruments like mandolin and melodica, Grand Drive (culled from the quartet’s three prior U.K. albums) should have the alt-country crowd salivating like Pavlov’s dogs from the first notes. Think an inspired mix of The Band and Poco. The standout track, ”Tell It Like It Is,” is damn near as moving as Aaron Neville’s 1966 hit of the same name. Not bad for a buncha Limey ringers.

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