REVIEW: THE VINTAGE CARAVAN – “Gateways”
The Vintage Caravan is a three piece from Iceland who have a penchant for fuzzy guitars and driving rhythms which early hard rock bands such as Thin Lizzy, Humble Pie, and Captain Beyond championed in the 70’s. Gateways is the band’s fourth album and finds them sticking to their formula of crafting riff riddle rock that swings. In case you are new to the band, they are
Óskar Logi Ágústsson (Vocals/guitar), Alexander Örn Númason (bass), and Stefán Ari Stefánsson (drums).
There is no denying the talent of guys in Vintage Caravan. Take a rocket ride on the song “Reflections” and savor the throbbing bass cruising with the crisp drums. This song is rips right out of the gate and takes you on joyous ride. Another stellar song and I would say the best on the album is “Nebula”. I immediately thought of Opeth’s “In My Time of Need” as there is a lonely quietness to this song. The quavering vocals adds a note of psychedelic enchantment to a song that dreams within a purple haze. The entire arrangement of the song is stellar with a blistering guitar solo to bring it to climax.
So far, the album sounds pretty good right? This was the first time I’ve heard Vintage Caravan and I wanted to dig their music. Reviewing their prior releases and videos, I came away with a sense that they have an earnest love for the music they make. As mentioned, their talent as musicians is phenomenal. The problem I ran into is that too many songs felt flat and uninspiring. The lyrics to “The Way” just didn’t jive with me. The chorus in many songs such as “On The Run” and “Farewell”, lacked muscle and conviction. I’m sure some fans will disagree and that is ok since some music isn’t for everyone.
The Vintage Caravan take us on a cruise in a fastback Mustang time machine to a world of heavy riffs and smoking grooves with their new album Gateways. As with their previous albums, the band showcases outstanding musical chops to create an album that revels in classic guitar driven hard rock. Fans of the band may want to scream and shout, but I was left feeling uninspired.