Far more energetic and creative than Bag
, their 1992 studio debut, Who's Driving?
captures the New York City jam band at their improvising best. The band documented across the eight tracks of the disc is young and questing, binding their emerging group dynamics into winding jams, highlighted by the spiraling, jazzy leads of guitarists Lo Faber
and Aaron Maxwell
. The band is playful, but -- unlike some of their jam band contemporaries -- they rarely let their silliness overtake them, such as during the vocal jam in "Feel the Pressure" and the waltz-time haiku-filled "Hollow Frog." Though it sounds somewhat commonplace in retrospect, this was impressive music for a time when grunge and sludge rock ruled the airwaves. Instead, God Street Wine
focused on virtuosity, a concerted blending of genres, and an emphasis on variation and progression. While the results sometimes dance a little too close to silvery thin Steely Dan
grooves, it is clearly a sound that few others were pursuing, and that alone infuses the band with a creative energy beyond their years.