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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Peter Hesslein

Night Drive 3

Review by Gary Hill

Peter Hesslein is best known as the guitarist for Lucifer's Friend. This solo album is nearly all instrumental. That said, former LF singer Mike Starrs joins Hesslein on the closer and one other tune includes a vocal chorus. Musically this is proggy because it's largely fusion-oriented, but also because it leans on the prog side anyway. Call this what you like, but it's an effective album.

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Track by Track Review
This Way Home
There is a decidedly proggy sort of vibe to this instrumental piece. It feels like something Steve Howe might do as one of the rockier pieces on a solo album, but with some fusion added to the mix. It is a great energized opener with some killer sound built into it.
Sunset Drive
Percussion starts this number. It has a real Latin vibe to it. Some of the instrumental work almost sounds like vocals. There are horns on this number. It also has some particularly expressive guitar work.
At A Crossroads
I dig the fusion groove on this number. It really has some killer melodic lines and intriguing flavors. There is some particularly potent guitar work on this of various varieties as it turns toward hard rock later. I love the bass playing on the tune, too. It really shines.
Driving All Night
There is a definite melodic prog meets fusion concept at play here. Fabliola Hesslein provides vocals on the number, but just choruses of the title.
Going South
This has some particularly tasty fusion in the mix.
In The Fast Lane
Energized proggy jamming is on the menu here. This is another killer tune.
Road of Dreams
More of a mainstream rock number, this still has some AOR prog tendencies. It has a couple jazzy twists and turns, too. It also includes some great melodic treatments.
On The Horizon
I love the guitar work on this number. It has more of an instrumental guitar prog vibe, but there are also hints of Latin music here. It really turns into that particular wave later in the piece.
A Few More Hours
The slide guitar on this is great. So is the picked stuff that serves as the foundation. With a fusion informed by Latin vibe, this cut makes me think of Al Di Meola in some ways. It's a real guitar tour-de-force.
No Backseat Driver
The tones on this are more experimental and rocking at times. Yet the Latin and fusion concepts are still at play, too. It does turn toward more playful rocking textures at points.
A Warm Day’s Night
Latin tones are all over this thing. It has more of a smooth jazz feel. There are some interesting tones to some of the guitar work on this, but this doesn't work as well for me as some of the rest.
Faster Than a Slug
There is a cool surf and drag Americana sound to this cut. It's not the proggiest thing here, but it is very cool. It's actually one of my favorites here.
Exit Number 9
There is a classic rock sort of vibe to this number. I'm reminded a little of The Beatles. The keys lend some intriguing flavors.
Sunrise Pit Stop
There are some killer melodic moments on this cut. It's a bit more of a mainstream rock song than some of the others here are .
A Gnat In My Life
This is a variant on "Flight of the Bumblebee." It's a powerhouse jam that is very proggy, but also a lot of fun.
Chapters Of My Life (feat. Mike Starrs)
A mellow balladic vibe brings this tune in with style. The vocals bring a lot of emotion with them. Synthetic strings augment the expressiveness of this. There is a real keyboard sounding vibe to much of this song, but it also has a good helping of guitar. This powers up a little, but largely remains a power ballad.


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