The Vintage Caravan - Voyage

The Vintage Caravan - Voyage

(CD/LP, Nuclear Blast Usa, 2014)

Let’s deal with the facts first; THE VINTAGE CARAVAN is a band from Iceland and was formed in 2006 by two 12 years old friends. Nope, there is no typo here and this is the age mentioned in the “Voyage” press release so having such a young band inking a deal with Nuclear Blast cannot be a fact to be overlooked. Please, also note Iceland as the country of origin and you’ll have all the reasons lined up why I was totally intrigued by this release.

On the other hand, all this info would become obsolete if the musical content of “Voyage” was not strong enough to back up the story of THE VINTAGE CARAVAN. I mean, what can you expect from a bunch of teenagers from Iceland? I guess the vintage/psychedelic/70s artwork can be strong evidence about what is happening in the nine-song tracklist. But before jumping onboard the not-another-70s-retro-band ship, let me spill the beans for you by saying that “Voyage” is a shiny big gold nugget waiting to be panned from the dirt... No, I am not overselling this one and the in fact the bass driven groove of “Craving” will back me up having on top of everything one of the most addictive timbres I have heard for the last five years or so. Óskar possesses a mature voice deeply influenced from the 70s having LED ZEPPELIN on the top of this listening list. But that’s not all; the guitars sound genuinely vintage with smooth leads and a foot-tapping main riff that requires beer or whiskey drinking for maximum pleasure. “Do You Remember” slows things down a bit and reduces the guitar distortion as it dives deeper in the 70s British-raised Hard Rock. The main rhythm is simple and at the same time most effective speaking straight to the heart of all those rockers who are still living in the flower-power days and please pay closer attention to the awesome solo.

The track that got me hooked gaining the most plays is “Expand Your Mind” that easily could be mistaken for the product of another Swedish retro band. Once again, the vocal melodies are responsible for making this song sticky as peanut butter mixed with jelly. The guitars have a nice fuzzy tone while the bass-drums alliance keeps things going stepping a little to BLACK SABBATH grounds. Retro-music cannot go far without the appropriate reference to chemically-induced happiness and the AC/DC-esque “M. A.R.S.W.A.T.T” is the most fitting example with lyrics that go like this: “...I went down to the center of the town, to my surprise I saw the Starship Enterprise”. And if you don’t believe me, check below the official video of this one and I am sure you will crack a smile or even a laugh while following the most addictive groove (extra kudos Alexander for the bass lines). In the same groovy wavelength is the riff-driven “Midnight Meditation” (you’ll be singing along the chorus in no time) with the killer cowbell sound, as the album drops the curtain with an almost 12-minute bang entitled “The Kings Voyage”. After the mid-tempo start, the song gains heaviness with yet-another BLACK SABBATH- rhythm before inhaling some Hendrix-esque guitar fumes painting everything with all those psychedelic shades of purple, orange, red while spinning some fractal-inspired shapes to top everything off. The clean guitar arpeggios along with some nice vocalisms may also have some THE ANIMALS references before getting things in order with more distortion.

I had (and still have) tons of fun listening to this album that, despite the retro-aesthetics, sounds in a bizarre way authentic, taking also into account the young age of the band-members. I think we all agree that playing good Hard Rock has nothing to do with the musician’s age but with what his heart is dictating and in the case of THE VINTAGE CARAVAN everything points to the right direction. Get the vinyl edition now!

PS: Love the scratching sound in the end of “The Kings Voyage” because vinyl is the only way to enjoy music!

9/10


Links:

www.FaceBook.Com/VintageCaravan
www.Twitter.Com/_VintageCaravan


Tracklist:

01. Craving
02. Let Me Be
03. Do You Remember
04. Expand Your Mind
05. M. A.R.S.W.A.T.T
06. Cocaine Sally
07. Winterland
08. Midnight Meditation
09. The Kings Voyage


Lineup:

Óskar Logi Ágústsson - Vocals, Guitar
Guðjón Reynisson - Drums
Alexander Örn Númason - Bass