Tone Report Weekly 194 - Page 55

and insist on gain, but I won’t hold it against this pedal. You don’t go to Friedman for subtlety. beat out the riff to “Angry Chair,” I got the familiar chunk and sustain from early AIC records. dropped things there lest my speakers crack under the pressure. Pointing all the knobs to 12:00, even the default distortion was throaty and full, perfectly emulating the hot-rodded Marshalls that made Friedman’s name. Playing just with the gain and volume, I was delighted see the diversity in distortion the Motor City Drive offered, going from a low-gain grind to a high-gain wall of harmonics. Mastodon would be a bit trickier because of its ever-evolving distortion sound, so I decided to go simple and try to replicate its early sound from Leviathan. I dropped my Strat down a full step, rolled back on the bass, and boosted the highs and mids. I actually rolled back the gain a bit but increased the volume, Mastodon’s sound at this stage being known more for rasp than saturation. I finally belted out the riff to “I Am Ahab” and was rewarded with perfection. With high quality parts and a roaring sound, the Motor City Drive would be a worthy addition to any guitarist’s backline. At this juncture, I decided to experiment by specific criteria; two of Friedman’s most prominent endorsees are Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, with both possessing their own signature amps from the company. I wanted to see if this humble little pedal could emulate their sounds, even just a little. I tuned the Strat to drop-D, rolling back on the midrange, and boosted the highs and lows. As I WHAT WE LIKE CONCERNS Like all Friedman products, the Motor City Drive is expensive. So if you decide you like the sound of the pedal, you have to decide if it’s worth $300 for it. A quick run in my trusty Jazz Bass was also very satisfying. I decided to start small with the farting punk thump of “Walk Idiot Walk”, before rolling back the midrange and trying the biting sound of “Substitute.” I 55