||THE VINTAGE CARAVAN
The Vintage Caravan are a young three piece band from Iceland and 'Voyage' is their second album, which follows in the heels of their successful self-titled debut album which was released back in 2011.
If you're looking for something a bit different, then 'Voyage' is definitely a disc that you should investigate.
To be honest, I really wasn't sure what to expect from such a young band – as far as I can make out, the band members are barely even eighteen years of age but you wouldn't know this by listening to the album. The cover art for 'Voyage' harks back to those classic album covers from the early seventies and I did wonder if the music contained therein also took some inspiration from the likes of Cream and Hawkwind.
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With nine tracks, the album is just oozes class from start to finish. Take the first track, 'Craving', for example, with it's heavy and memorable central riff. It just reverberates around your head and it gets better and better with repeated listenings.
Vocalist Oskar Logi Agustsson has a great voice, performing an outstanding guitar solo halfway through - astonishing given his relative age. Towards the end of the track, you'd be forgiven thinking it was over but then the band bring it back once again with one final repeat of the riff before a big finish. What a great start to the album, but the thing is - there's so much more good music on the album still waiting to be discovered, which ensures you find something new with every repeated listen.
'Let Me Be' continues the frantic pace and gives Agustsson another chance to show his blistering guitar skills with another fantastic riff which is kept in check by drummer Guojon Reynisson showing his dexterity behind the kit. Here again, Agustsson performs a great guitar solo, and it'll be interesting to see if the band add these tracks to their live set as it would be a real shame if they were to be excluded.
The same can be said for 'Expand Your Mind' which has doomy overtones but never sounds morbid. The title and lyrical content owe something to the drug experimentation bands from the last sixties/early seventies but with another sold riff and a catchy chorus, the song bounces along at a fair pace.
This band are so much more than fast numbers, however, and nothing demonstrates this more than 'Do You Remember' which slows the pace right down. Agustsson plays some beautifully lyrical guitar passages and mellows his vocals style to complement this, which ends up with him sounding not unlike Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame.
This song is one of my absolute favourites from the whole album and is truly fantastic. The song is the perfect soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon - understated. That's the best way to describe the track - understated.
'Winterland' too has an almost Pink Floyd/early Fleetwood Mac feel to it as the guitar sound washes over you like a water lapping from a lakeside. Reynisson's drum sound is seamless throughout but never overpowers the guitar/vocal combination. The song is unhurried and coming in at just over six minutes, it never outstays it's welcome - like 'Do You Remember' - and this is one track that I'll be playing again and again and won't ever tire of it.
The real epic here, though, is the final track 'The King's Voyage'. Clocking in at over twelve minutes, this is a modern day classic that could quite easily sit right up there with 'Echoes' by Pink Floyd or Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Freebird'.
The guitar and drums come in slow and heavy but it's not until the guitar riff really kicks in that the pace picks up. Agustsson has some difficult vocal lines to fit in with the beat but he pulls this off admirably and his guitar solo is nothing short of spectacular.
The guitar passages in the middle are just so atmospheric that the band must have laboured intensively over the track - at the end of the day, though, the work has paid off admirably. A fantastic finish to a fantastic album.
Let Me Be
Do You Remember
Expand Your Mind
The King's Voyage
You can see the official lyric video for 'Midnight Meditation' here:
You can see The Vintage Caravan live here:
Wednesday 12th March – NQ, Manchester (supporting Grand Magus)
Thursday 13th March – Voodoo Lounge, Dublin (supporting Grand Magus)
Friday 14th March – Hammerfest, Pwllheli
Saturday 15th March – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton (supporting Grand Magus)
Sunday 16th March - Camden Underworld, London (supporting Grand Magus)
Tuesday 18th March - Divan du Monde, Paris
Wednesday 19th March - Gebäude 9, Köln
Thursday 20th March – Backstage, München
Friday 21st March – Szene, Wien
Saturday 22nd March – Kiff, Aarau
Sunday 23rd March – Universum, Stuttgart
Monday 24th March - C-Club, Berlin
Wednesday 26th March – Markthalle, Hamburg
Thursday 27th March – Batschkapp, Frankfurt
Friday 28th March – Musichall, Geiselwind
Saturday 29th March – Turock, Essen
Sunday 30th March – Dornroosje, Nijmegen
Vintage Caravan are:
Oskar Logi Agustsson – Vocals/Guitar
Alexander Orn Numanson – Bass
Guojon Reynisson – Drums