“Frustrated, Loud, & Manic”: LA’s The Drives Rev Their Engines with Debut EP ‘This Might Take a While’

The Drives © Jeff Lorch
The Drives © Jeff Lorch
Energetic and impassioned, The Drives’ debut EP ‘This Might Take a While’ soars with dynamic indie rock charm as the LA band create an irresistible soundtrack to getting through the throes of life.
Stream: “End At the Door” – The Drives

This record was our attempt to capture the moments in your life that you wish would move faster, whether it’s a dying romance, or a mental health problem, or just general boredom.

An undercurrent of tension ripples through all six songs on The Drives’ debut EP. It’s an intense, complex sensation, and one that encompasses solitude, longing, heartache, desire, angst, and urgency all at once. One might label it the raw frustration of our 20s, or an insatiable impatience with post-coming-of-age self-discovery. The tension feels good, though – like it’s a natural facet of the world that everybody experiences, despite our different circumstances. That’s the beauty of The Drives’ music: Wherever you are in life, you’re sure to connect with this band’s reflective stories and emotive lyrics – not to mention their insatiable sound. Energetic and impassioned, The Drives’ first extended player This Might Take a While soars with dynamic indie rock charm as they create an irresistible soundtrack to getting through the throes, doldrums, aches, and pains life throws our way.

This Might Take a While - The Drives © Abigail Hedine
This Might Take a While – The Drives © Abigail Hedine
Despite what you think
I thought we had more to say
And thoughts about you
Are coming too frequently
What would you do
If we could say anything
But the light from my phone
Is ruining the whole scene
We threw it all away
Before we even had the chance to change
And when we realized
There wasn’t much that we could save in the end

Released October 8, 2021, This Might Take a While is an exhilarating introduction to The Drives. The Highland Park, Los Angeles-based trio of singer/guitarist, Andrew Levin, producer/songwriter, Casey Chen, and drummer Geo Botelho, The Drives sound like California’s response to Catfish and The Bottlemen, albeit a few years delayed. Since debuting in 2016, the trio have polished their garagey sound and steadily nurtured a cinematic pop/rock quality that makes every song feel intensely intimate and cinematic at the same time. Their first EP combines previously unheard new material with a number of the band’s most recent singles and a tried n’ true fan favorite. It’s an unabating, unapologetic 22-minute upheaval that proves to be as warm as it is dramatic.

“This record was our attempt to capture the moments in your life that you wish would move faster, whether it’s a dying romance, or a mental health problem, or just general boredom,” The Drives’ Andrew Levin tells Atwood Magazine. “We basically wanted to put together a bunch of songs about waiting for shitty feelings to pass – which is sometimes awful, sometimes uplifting, but always strange. It’s the idea of seeing the other side, but knowing you have a ways to go until you get there. Overall, the EP is the journey of dealing with sadness while simultaneously waiting for it to pass.”

“Our vision for the record actually wasn’t very clear at the beginning, but it actually came together more during the recording process,” he adds. “It was a few months into the recording process that we started to realize what the record meant to all of us. I think the record introduces us well because it shows a few different sides of the band with a slow burner at the start. It also worked out well because we ended up adding one our earliest songs, ‘Tell Me,’ which fit perfectly with the theme of the EP because it describes being stuck in a shitty situation but trying to make the best of it.”

The Drives choose the words “frustrated,” “loud,” and “manic” to describe this record, explaining, “We chose frustrated because frustration feels like one of the main themes of the record. We chose loud because of the aggressive energy and manic because of the intense, elevated moods covered in the songs.”

Together, these three words go far in capturing the sentiment and sound behind This Might Take a While – a collection full of feverish emotion channeled into roaring drum work and radiant guitars. The EP’s name itself is a lyric from its penultimate song “The Comedown,” which features the lyric: “Old friends, new life, keep me out of mind. Some days, I find this might take a while. So keep me in a place where I can stay, far from the things you intend to throw away.

“We wanted a name that captured the main idea of the record,” Levin says of the EP title. “While brainstorming, we realized the line from our song ‘The Comedown’ said it all perfectly. It’s simple and straight to the point, and kind of says it all for us.”

The Drives © Jeff Lorch
The Drives © Jeff Lorch

We wanted to go beyond simple breakup songs and address the specifics of coping in these moments – whether it’s holding on to things that are clearly broken, embracing the boredom and loneliness in your life, or just straight up dealing with mental health struggles

From the effervescent, intimate warmth emanating throughout opening track “End At the Door,” through to the throttling churn and pulse of closer “OCD,” This Might Take a While is full of excitement. Highlights include – but are by no means limited to – the band’s new song “You Would Always Say,” which puts the word “drive” in The Drives, and the late 2020 single “All This Boredom,” which we previously hailed as “a rush of energy and ennui fighting for control of a dark narrative.”

“I think our favorite part of the record is the ending of ‘All This Boredom,’” Levin says. “When we have started practicing for some upcoming live shows, that part of the set is always so fun to play and gets out a lot of our angsty, frustrated energy.” Meanwhile, “our favorite lyric is from ‘The Comedown’: ‘I still see us somewhere in a different room.’ This is one of our favorite lyrics from the EP because we believe it captures how a dying relationship can evolve into something new and different.”

The Drives are still fresh faces on the alt-rock scene, and with such an immersive sound, they’re sure to make a lasting impression on all who hear their music.

“I feel like every human has some experience with being in this sort of frustrating limbo of emotions so if anyone feels any sort of connection to the music that would be a success for us,” Levin shares. “Overall, we hope people listening can identify with certain songs and use the music as a cathartic way to deal with whatever is happening in their own life. I know for us, writing and recording this EP has made it easier to process and deal with all the stuff in our lives. Hopefully, making this EP will make us better prepared for what comes next as well. Thanks for listening!”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside The Drives’ This Might Take a While EP with Atwood Magazine as Levin goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of the band’s debut extended player!

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:: stream/purchase The Drives here ::
Stream: ‘This Might Take a While’ – The Drives

:: Inside This Might Take a While ::

This Might Take a While - The Drives © Abigail Hedine

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“End At The Door” 

“This song really revolves around ignoring all the bad things in a relationship because of a fear of losing that person. In my case, ignoring all the problems ultimately made the problems get worse at a faster rate than before. When I look at this song, I think it goes well beyond relationships for me and into other realms of my life. I always seem to ignore issues as they worsen and end up making decisions that make those problems exponentially worse. It’s like I’m at sea and I find a small hole in the bottom of my boat, and I try to fix it but end up making six more holes and breaking my hand in the process.”

“You Would Always Say”

“This one really tries to capture coming to terms with accepting that this person won’t be in your life in the same way they used to be. I really just tried to talk about the little things a person does that you are so familiar with and then suddenly are gone when the relationship ends.”

“All This Boredom”

“‘All This Boredom’ was really just a song about waiting for things to pass. I remember going through my breakup and knowing it was the right decision but still feeling like I wasn’t ‘okay’ yet and spending a few months bored of feeling bad.”

“Tell Me” 

“Tell Me was one of the first songs we ever recorded as The Drives. The story essentially revolves around hiding your attraction towards a person when you feel it may be one sided. Although this situation would normally be sad, this song is more a celebration of falling for someone regardless of how it might play out.”

“The Comedown”

“This song was an attempt to capture the different emotional states I went through after getting out of a long term relationship”


“This is the first song where I really address my mental health head on and specifically my struggles with OCD. The song really describes my unwillingness to get help in my early 20’s.”

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:: stream/purchase The Drives here ::

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This Might Take a While - The Drives © Abigail Hedine

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? © Jeff Lorch

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