The Vintage Caravan
13 January 2014
What do Bjork, Sólstafir and a cloud of ash all have in common? They’ve all been churned out by Iceland, a country known as much for its arduous to pronounce names and its air-traffic stopping volcanos as its music. A new name to add to that list are psychoactive hard rock trio The Vintage Caravan who have just crawled out of their teens and are paradoxically procreating 70s retro blues-rock.
Formulating in 2006, Óskar Logi (vocals, guitar) and Guðjón Reynisson (drums) started TVC as a duo in a similar fashion to The Black Keys, finally releasing their debut self-titled album in 2011. A year later they were later joined by bassist Alex Örn, just after the home-soil release of their second album Voyage, which is now being re-released worldwide through Nuclear Blast.
The nine track album commences with a crunchy riff, heavy bass-line and tight musicianship, something that stays a constant throughout the album. The Vintage Caravan’s influences include King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Cream and Black Sabbath which is apparent particularly in tracks like ‘Expand Your Mind’. If you want to hear a bit of Jimi Hendrix, check out ‘Let Me Be’ and its resonating guitar solo.
Sadly, certain tracks are under-produced leaving the vocals overpowered – not that there is much to hear there. Logi hasn’t got a particularly powerful voice. In tracks like ‘Craving’ and ‘Midnight Meditation’, he tries to imitate the tone of the song and harmonize with the guitars, but his vocals chords aren’t quite ripened enough to re-create the dynamics and he falls shy of his target. ‘Do you Remember’ is the only track on the album where Logi’s voice starts to sound charismatic.
It’s difficult to find fault in TVC’s instrumental abilities and overall sound, but their lyrics sincerely fail the rest of the album – “The sun is setting and the moon is here. As I sat on the ground, there was no one around.” Whether that’s due to a language gap, its something for Logi to improve on along with his vocal techniques.
Sounds Like: Cream, Deep Purple, King Crimson
Standout Tracks: Expand Your Mind, Do You Remember, Let Me Be