The Vintage Caravan – “Voyage” (Nuclear Blast Records)
Simply shakin’ – I had this on full blast to take me into the new year and still I’m spaced out to the max by its awesome groove! If you love the rock greats of the 60s and 70s then this amazing album will have you quaking in your kaftan. “Voyage” is like tripping the light fantastic – it’s from Iceland by the way, and that’s a pretty far out place hence the psychedelic cover of polar bears pulling a funked up caravan. And just get a loada the band’s names – Óskar Logi Ágústsson (Guitar and vocals), Guðjón Reynisson (Drums) and Alexander Örn Númason (Bass) – now that’s gotta be a mind bend. But wait till I tell you how old they are – no, not as ancient as the glaciers or volcanoes in their land of fire n ice but in actuality a tender 18 years a piece – yeah, The Vintage Caravan was formed when they were 12! How they got this good is beyond me although I would imagine entire days of sunlight followed by darkness in one of the most isolated countries on Earth might’ve been contributory. Then there’s the music – having gone thru their parents entire record collections the jams of Zepp, funky rhythms of King Crimson, spacey soul of Cream, blues of Muddy Waters and wild riffs of Angus Young freed their teen spirit to produce the ultimate high. What sets “Voyage” apart from other retro stoner / hard bands is not only how well songs like ‘Winterland’, ‘Cocaine Sally’ and ‘Expand Your Mind’ are played but also how The Vintage Caravan have modernized the dour bits and energized the style and for that I give them full marks in their talent! It’s like if these bands had continued as they were but instead got younger then you’d hear the voice of Paul Rodgers in Óskar’s clean n soulful vox as well as the two Jimi’s in his playing, Glenn Hughes’s swanky bass in Alex and the big ass drums of Bonzo in Guðjón. This has to be one of the top albums of the year so the future looks like a magic carpet ride for these boys from Reykjavík. Highly recommended for your next space flight!