Theo's Drive in
Galea is a power trio from Richardson TX, featuring Mary Howell on bass guitar and lead vocals, Chris Howell on guitars, keyboards and background vocals, with 'Duckie' covering the drums live. Chris and Mary formed Galea after the breakup of their first band, Tellus, which recorded two albums in the late 1990s on Tellurian Records. Theo's Drive in is the debut album for Galea, released in the spring of 2009 on Coffee Monster Music. It was recorded in Houston at the home studio of Alan Doss (Galactic Cowboys), who also played drums on the recording. Alan was a great fit not only because of his excellent musicianship but also because of his familiarity with Chris and Mary as producer of the first Tellus album. The new CD echoes the past progressive rock tendencies of Tellus while at the same time forges ahead and explores a more alternative, textured sound, as evidenced by the increased attention to vocal melodies and an overall tighter arrangement of the interplay between guitar, bass and drums. Rather than pursuing an overly produced or slick sound, the recording itself is somewhat reckless by intention. Chris, who produced the album, managed to capture some excellent performances and thoughtful arrangements while at the same time preserving a 'live' feel in the studio. Although the record was written over a long period of time (roughly 2 years), it was recorded very quickly which gave the songs newfound energy and spontaneity. The recording itself is interesting because it reveals the coming together of a very intentional and anal retentive progressive/hard rock/metal band with a recording philosophy typically more suited to an alternative/impulsive/indie/college sound - the result is a fun, heavy and energetic vibe. The songs themselves bespeak the musical maturity of the band - they are more disciplined and tasteful with regard to melody. The tunes are a bit shorter this time but there is more to listen to; there is more attention to detail, which rewards and warrants repeated listenings. The album consists of 12 tracks and runs nearly an hour, revealing a wide variety of influences, from the heavy metal drone of 'Beyond' to the alternative punch of 'Rescue Me' to the all acoustic homage 'Departure.' Fans of progressive, alternative and melodic/pop rock will find much satisfaction with this initial offering by Galea. Their songs demonstrate intelligence, an abundance of pretty melodies offset by crushing guitar riffs, and are certain to please a wide variety of musical tastes.