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Drive-In wants you to know "This Is Not A Rom-Com" on new EP

Drive-In wants you to know "This Is Not A Rom-Com" on new EP


Drive-In is a musical duo who in their own words “have come together to create a sonic experience that makes listeners want to dance and reflect on their life choices” and while their music provokes more the latter than the former response for this listener I’m not about to tell anyone they can't dance to Drive-In because that’s a highly personal choice (plus their song "Impact" is indisputably danceable, see below) and heck if people can dance to the Grateful Dead's music they can dance to anything even off their tits on hashish, acid, and/or shrooms all of which have proven conducive to noodle dancing at the very least...

…but rest assured multiple tabs of blotter acid aren't required to enjoy Drive-In’s new EP This Is Not A Rom-Com with lead singer/lyricist Ally Rincon having penned “a collection of stories that narrate her experiences with relationships, with people and with herself, with a specific focus on how those relationships have effected her mental health” according to the official press release, a record that "shamelessly wears its heart on its sleeve."

This Is Not A Rom-Com was produced by Ryan Erwin (Particle Devotion, Nice Dog) and on the musical side of things the EP is similarly introspective and emotionally direct or as guitarist/songwriting partner Mitch Meyer puts it: “I wanted this album to be a bit more reflective and a more grown-up way of looking at Ally's lyrical themes, so rather than going full angst, we opted to bring in some folk and Americana elements [plus] a lot of strange guitar intervals and bends that kind of twist with the emotion. Quinn Devlin was a big help in realizing this aspect" all of which sounds pretty Dead-like actually…

…but what's maybe a little less-than-direct with This Is Not A Rom-Com is how any one of these four songs could fit quite nicely on an actual rom-com soundtrack imho like how “The One Before” would be a great fit with Albert Brooks’ classic rom-com Modern Romance or how “Impact” sounds like it’s sung from the perspective of the Biscuit Woman in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster (“I am falling / and landing on concrete”)...

...or how “Overwhelmed” mirrors the self-delusion and mutual deception at the heart of The One I Love starring Elizabeth Moss or how “Narcissist” could soundtrack the, um, narcissism at the heart of Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story a movie that “brings rom-com energy to the agony of divorce” but still I had to turn it off after about 15 minutes due to the insufferability of the main characters not to mention the stilted acting, apologies to Adam and Scarlett because I know they're reading this…

…so anyway you may have noticed the aforementioned films are all very much dark romantic comedies which no doubt is down in part to your humble reviewer’s twisted cinematic tastes but they do fit the Drive-In EP to a "T" with its songs essentially rooted in the hopes and expectations formed around normative heteronormative couplings and the various varieties of misery and insecurity potentially stemming from these normative hopes and expectations which falls outside your typical happy ending rom-com territory…

…but then again your typical rom-com depicts plenty of misery leading up to its happy ending cuz you gotta ratchet up the dramatic-comedic-romantic tension somehow so maybe the songs on This Is Not A Rom-Com could be rom-com soundtrack fodder after all (plus that’s where the big bucks are!) not to mention Drive-In have a knack for combining despairing sentiments with pleasant “gentle folksy indie rock” musical stylings which may likewise help land those movie placements—an amalgamation mastered by the likes of Snail Mail, Lucy Dacas, and Phoebe Bridgers among others—so if you like your rom-coms both sweet and sour then head to the Drive-In and get your groove on… (Jason Lee)

Published: November 06, 2022 |

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