Spearheaded by unknown guitarist Jeremy Brunner, X-Drive is a hard rock project that celebrates 80s melodic rock in a particularly unashamed and brazen fashion. Joining Brunner on this particular journey are ex-White Lion bassist James Lomenzo, Montrose vocalist Keith St. John and Midline drummer Fred Fischer. They say you can’t always judge a book by the cover, but this band’s general style should be obvious after one look at their dubious choice of album sleeve. It’s not as bad as Montrose’s staggeringly awful ‘Jump On It’ – a sleeve that clearly inspired the end result – but it’s pretty unnecessary.
Back in the late 80s/early 90s, White Lion released a couple of great albums in ‘Pride’ and ‘Mane Attraction’. By more modern standards, the production on ‘Pride’ is a tiny bit trebly (okay, maybe a lot trebly), but it had the songs to back up any technical shortcomings. A couple of ‘Mane Attraction’s songs were noticeably weaker – and they even padded out the disc with a re-recording of ‘Broken Heart’ (the original can be found on their 1987 release ‘Fight To Survive), but in many ways, it was a perfect swansong. Vocalist Mike Tramp’s follow up project Freak Of Nature attracted a solid fan base, but the more alternative leanings in the band’s sound turned off some more “traditional” rock fans, leading to decline in record sales. His later solo album ‘Capricorn’ was more than decent, but by this point Tramp’s sales figures were practically non-existent compared to former glories. In that respect, it’s almost understandable as to why by 2008 Frontiers Records would want Tramp to release another White Lion album.