Katy Guillen

REVIEW: Katy Guillen & The Drive “Another One Gained”


Katy Guillen & The Drive – Another One Gained

Hailing from Kansas City this duo’s music supposedly expresses a dichotomy of feelings, self-doubt, grief, reckoning & rebirth. But by the measure of the first song “Another One Gained” — it’s quite upbeat for an LP planted in many alleged downer possibilities. The voice of Katy Guillen is one of optimism. The song is aggressively positive, a sustained rocker with a solid arrangement.

Maybe that’s Katy Guillen & The Drive’s motive. To recount some bad times through some bright melodies as they did on “Discoloration.” A jewel.


“Bottom of Your Belly,” follows & that’s also an assuring melody chugging along in a lovely progression despite its simplicity. It’s ear-candy, well-performed & energetic. These ladies Katy Guillen, vocals, guitar, bass, keys & Stephanie Williams – drums, percussion & bass have gone to the musical kiln & shaped a bowl of juicy tunes into a piece of art.

The guitars ring & vocals penetrate consistently through each track. The arrangements of songs are impeccable. How do I know? Because I went back & played many several times just to enjoy how the instruments worked together & there is no huge band here.

10 cuts decorate the 47-minute LP Another One Gained (Drops Aug. 19–Waterloo Records) & while they don’t really sink their teeth into the blues you can tell Katy could certainly let loose at any time.

Produced by Kevin Ratterman (additional keys/programming/arrangements on 5 songs) with Katy & Stephanie – it was recorded in Los Angeles, CA. This may be an independent release but there’s nothing to suggest a thrift-shop production. Many songs do suffer from heavy production.

The bass is heavy-duty in spots, but the vocals always come through with clarity, as well as the lead guitar. I would prefer this to a tinny sound. But it could’ve been more affecting if the sound wasn’t so charged. This isn’t a musical atmosphere that’s at fault — the production has too much humidity & the barometer is high when it should be breezy. Especially on “Set In Stone.” But I confess, maybe that’s what they intended.

“Avoiding Every Sound,” is better – the drums are crisp, Katy’s vocals are lucid & the “band sound” is heavy but not leaden. Best of all is “Because It’s Blue” – its infectious riff halfway through the tune is well worth the price of admission with an excellent guitar solo, solid performance & sticky sultry melody. All surprisingly good.

If renewal & resolution is their aim — it’s commendable. Their next CD should be about enjoying making music together & not being preoccupied with addressing so many facets of life that detour their joy for living.

The artists did state that this CD was therapeutic & they wish to enter into a happier realm – I’m looking forward to that because the melodies they possess & the voice Ms. Guillen is blessed with will produce even more embracing music.

CD Cover photo: Morgan Jones. CD @ https://katyguillenmusic.com/

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