Sunday, March 1, 2015


My Battle of the Bands post today is inspired by watching advertisements for the DVD complete series of Sons of Anarchy. I miss that program, and may have to purchase the series some day. Unless Netflix hosts the series until I get tired of it. Or there are reruns somewhere. The series had a lot of excellent music for the episodes; and the commercial for the DVD series has the Styx song RENEGADE as the perfect musical accompaniment.

So I set out to find a cover for the Styx version. Took a long time to find this one by a band called Drivin. "The Driven were an Irish rock band, possibly best known for their 1996 single Jesus Loves You More If You Can Drive. From 1995 to 1998, the band consisted of Brendan Markham (vocals, guitar), Darrin Mullins (lead guitar), Ned Kennedy (drums) and Paul Power (bass). After 1998, Ned Kennedy was replaced by Christian Best. Three of the members later went on to form a group called Citizen." (Wikipedia) The group toured Europe and played alongside a lot of bands, made a couple albums of their own, but never made a hit in the US, so there isn't much available on their career.

Not bad, if you like it LOUD. And ya know I do.

STYX needs no introduction, of course. However, the band Styx (named after the Greek mythology river forming the boundary between Earth and the Underworld, "is an American rock band from Chicago that became famous for its albums from the mid-1970s and early 1980s. They are best known for melding the style of pop rock with the power of hard-rock guitar, strong ballads and elements of international musical theater." (Wikipedia source). I got lost in all the song/video links on YouTube while putting this post together, which is why it is up late and not up to usual info standards.

What do you think, pretty close match between the unknown and the superstar?

Visit Stephen T McCarthy for a complete list of other Battle of the Bands participants, and enjoy a very musical Sunday.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Styx's version is so iconic, it will be difficult to beat.
However! I actually liked Driven's version. High energy, good guitar work, and a great growling voice. They get my vote.
Because I also like it loud!

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Donna - "Sons of Anarchy," I miss too. The show provided a great space for artists' covers. I spent some time on You Tube, recently and almost played them all day.

Meanwhile, woo(!) this is tough. Nice battle, my friend, and I am nit-picking my way through it.
I really enjoy the band's sound from 'Drivn'... a rich sound, but I find the vocals pulling me away. Something about their harmony is disturbing to me. (I'm probably in the minority about this, but that's okay.) In all sincerity, they may be a little too heavy for me.

Styx... I've never been a fan. I do like the pitch of their version better. I like the three part harmony better. It sounds closer... blends better. Geez, but 'Drivn' has the better band sound. I'm now at listening four times a piece! Yeah, and stop/starting too (smile).

You know what? My vote goes to 'Drivn.' Ha! Great Battle!

A Beer for the Shower said...

Sigh. I miss Sons too. The characters, the story, and even the music.

I like both of them, and for me it's a hard choice, but I think I like the classic sound of Styx just a bit better than I like the sound of Drivn.

Pat Hatt said...

Sons was such a great show indeed. Both are good, but have to go with Styx.

farawayeyes said...

My normal practice on BOTB day is to listen to everything posted early in the morning on my phone. The phone won't let me comment on most blogs, so I wait to vote until I open up the computer. Anyway...there were two BATTLES today that I'm really having a hard tie deciding on. Funny thing is these two BATTLES couldn't be farther apart in their musical types. Yours is one and the other McCarthy's. Ha! Hard rock vs Gospel - go figure!

Anyway..."Renegade'. This is one of those songs that if it's coming out of the speakers of my car stereo, I had better pull over; otherwise I'm likely to face a big ole fat speeding ticket. (Yeah, I like to put it to the metal - especially on these open NV highways.) I've never been a really big Styx fan. Saw them once or thrice in person back in Chicago before they were super big, but I saw a lot of bands then. I did always like this song.

I really like the hard, rough sound of Drivin, but the vocals kinda just seem like screamin, until they reach those harmonies about two thirds of the way through. Styx, on the other hand has the better vocals all the way through, but their instrumentation seems a little bit more tame.

Oh what to do, what do to. I would really love it with the hard rough sound of Drivin and the vocals of Styx. OK, not an option? Well, then I'll stay with the tried and true. Give my vote to Styx.

Arlee Bird said...

Interesting song pick--one of those that I'd never thought there'd be a suitable cover available. But you found it!

They're both good and like others have said the version by Drivin is the heavier, so that takes away a tad for my taste.

I prefer the purer sound and more low key production of Styx.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

dolorah said...

Alex; I wasn't sure about this group until they hit that first guitar solo.

Dixie: ha, I played it several times to decide which I like better too. All good points. Your vote is a well deserved kindness to the newbie.

Beers: SOA, glad it went out at the top of the ratings. Thanks for stopping by :)

Pat: they will all star in other shows, but without the Tats, just not the same. Thanks for the vote.

FAE: I know, a good song puts my foot to the medal too. And McC's gospel sound was awesome today. I've had my proper dose of religion :) Stay safe out there on those icy roads.

Lee; this was really hard to find - almost had to go with a two-minute American Idol version. Would have been a shame. Drivn did well with their version. I'd dance to them. Thanks for the vote.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Psychedelic Urchin, Oh, Donna, Oh-Oh, Donna ~

Once upon a time, oh, about six lifetimes ago, I was a huge STYX fan - my then favorite music group. I got into Styx so early that there were no band T-shirts to buy so I silk-screened my own. In high school, my classmates would read the T-shirt and ask, "What is StIx?"

The first Rock concert I ever attended had Styx opening for Journey at the smallish Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Walking out that night, it seemed like everyone was yakking about Styx rather than the headliner.

About a year later, I saw Styx again at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. This time Mink DeVille was opening for Styx. (Ironically, I now like Mink DeVille WAY more than I do Styx. Give me 'She's So Tough' and 'Cadillac Walk' over 'Lady' and 'Come Sail Away' ANY DAY!)

And if memory serves me, about a year or two later I went to a concert where Journey was opening for Styx. (By the end of my serious concert-going era, I saw Journey perform live 3 times, but never once went to see Journey; it was always the "Other" band I was there to see and hear.)

Oddly enough, the 1978 album 'Pieces Of Eight' - which contained the song 'Renegade' - was the last "StIx" album I ever purchased. At that point I had become tired of them, felt their songs had become very "formulaic" and I began to branch out to other forms of music, away from the commercial "Hard Rock" which had been my favorite type of music up to that point.

However, in this Battle, I'm going to vote for "StIx", because I don't feel the challengers did anything with the song other than add a lot of pointless, pedestrian guitar playing to it.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Kim @ This Belle Rocks said...

Oh, man.....I do love Styx's original, but I definitely love it loud - give The Driven my vote!

dolorah said...

Steve: What's wrong with pedestrian guitar playing? Pull out ye old air guitar and see if still isn't the best feeling ever to Rock On!

My what an EPIC Journey you've written for me. It was worth this battle just to read your adventure. Full circle - awesome. I got over my hard rock era too, but love to revisit the moments, as I'm sure you do too. I listened to so many Styx songs in creating this post I almost forgot where it all started. Good thing a SOA commercial came on to remind me :)

Kim: Say it sister; loud and proud!!

DEZMOND said...

I must admit I haven't heard any of the two before :) We do like to stay away from the river Styx :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never been a big Styx fan, but I did like that song. I think The Driven did a fine cover of it. Voting for them.

Cathy Kennedy said...

First thing, just wanted you to know Sons of Anarchy is on Netflix. Okay now to the BoTB.

Drivn instrumentals are fantastic. The vocals are okay. I found some of the notes to be too flat which kinda bothered my listening pleasure. Perhaps, in a studio they would sound better doing this cover, but live...they just can't cut it. Sadly, I can't give them my vote. :(

That being said, it's hard to beat a classic band like Styx. Give my vote to the superstars, Donna!

Nicki Elson said...

Oh my gosh, I remember how awesomely cool I felt whenever I'd sing this song - when I was like 12 years old and so, SO not cool.

Robin said...

I'm going to preface my vote with this comment, so that you understand from where I'm coming. I've been battling the nausea and whatnot all morning. If I were more "clued in" I would know that it means MIGRAINE. Since this is something I've dealt with since 2002... I should recognize the signs immediately. BUT, at the same time, migraines and I walk hand in hand most of the time, so nausea is often a Constant in my life.

What I'm trying to say is that the nausea was trying to tell me that I was experiencing a migraine that could get worse at any time with the proper provocation. It turns out that listening to the very hard version by Drivin' was that provocation. They really started to grind and my migraine became a full blown powerhouse all its own.

So, I can safely rule out Drivin' based on my head. Even though I'm very familiar with the Styx version, I listened again. Styx it is. Definitely.

dolorah said...

Dezzy: especially if you have no coins to get across :P

Diane: they did a good job.

Cathy: I noticed that too. Need time to watch; maybe I should do the weekly thing so I don't miss it so much :) I also wondered if they would have sounded better in a studio.

Nicki: lots of excellent music when we were kids. I still hear 80s music on the radio and love it.

Robin: ah, poor girl. I'm prone to migrains too, so I understand. I guess you'll not be traveling to see Driven in concert then. Sorry about the head ache.

DL Hammons said...

Styx was one of my favorite bands growing up...even saw them in concert in Shreveport Louisiana. No way I'm voting against them! :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I grew up in Michigan and Styx is from Chicago, and they were popular regionally for years before taking hold on the East and West Coasts. Great band and love that song. Live, Styx rocks the song even more.

Glad to see so many other bands playing that awesome song!

Donna said...

Two great choices. I'll have to vote for Styx. As someone said earlier, it's iconic. :)

cleemckenzie said...

I'm with Styx. Love those rifs.

Christine Rains said...

This is difficult. I want to go with Styx, but after listening to this new one, I like it. But like it better? Hmmm... No. My vote goes to Styx.

DiscConnected said...

I like the cover fine, but it is kind of note-for-note, and the Styx original has a 35 year head start...

Styx is still out there plugging away, playing the hits...always a good show, although the last few times I have seen them it was the same show.

Another vote for Styx

Chemist Ken said...

Haven't watched Sons of Anarchy, but I used to listen to Styx all the time, so I'm sure I'd vote for the Styx version.

Chrys Fey said...

I like rock, so I'm going with The Driven. :)

Mike said...

Styx get my vote! But nice cover

Anonymous said...

The cover was good, but I'm voting for Styx.

Blogger said...

Easily Boost Your ClickBank Commissions And Traffic

Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and get the banner codes for your chosen ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.