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The Vintage Caravan: Gateways

The Icelandic power trio known as The Vintage Caravan are back for their fourth album, and second for Nuclear Blast Records, titled Gateways, which features ten new examples of their brand of '70s inspired heavy rock. Following the band since their sophomore release Voyage in 2012, it's been great to watch this very young group (who are all still in their very early 20's) grow & mature as musicians & songwriters, and Gateways might just be their strongest effort, especially when it comes to the latter. These are instantly catchy and memorable songs, vocalist & lead guitarist Oskar Logi Ágústsson putting in a fine performance behind the microphone and giving these songs an anthemic, accessible feel.

Opening cut "Set Your Sights" is a driving, '70s styled heavy rocker, packed with hooks and churning guitar work, while both "The Way" and "Reflections" contain their share of bluesy hard rock riffs and slashing lead work to go alongside more of those catchy melodies. The moody, emotional "On the Run" sees some guest Hammond organ joining the fray (organ, electric piano, and Minimoog are featured on a few tracks, adding a nice proggy edge in spots), the track an example of the more 'song based' approach the band are taking on this album. This one wouldn't have sounded out of place on an old Free or Bad Company record. "All This Time" grinds & grooves, the images of Deep Purple and UFO hard to ignore, the guitar work quite effective while the rhythm team of bassist Alexander Örn Númason and drummer Stefán Ari Stefánsson rumbling away underneath. Ágústsson delivers a stunning Schenker styled guitar solo on this one that is pretty damn impressive. "Hidden Streams" follows a similar path, a rampaging hard rocker with never ending grooves, the verse & chorus filled with hooks aplenty, while the bombastic "Reset" will leave you jumping to your feet and pounding your fist in the air, the upbeat arrangement chock full of crunchy riffing and pounding drums, the chorus ultra memorable. The band dive back into some atmospheric prog & space rock with "Nebula", hints of Pink Floyd and Eloy drifting all over the place, while prog collides with doom on the brooding "Farewell", another heavy number with plenty of keyboard textures. For the finale "Tune Out", The Vintage Caravan go the bluesy, psychedelic route, Hendrix-ian styled guitars supported by Hammond and Fender Rhodes, Ágústsson again showing his vocal prowess in another stunning performance.

With so many great young international bands mining the '70s for inspiration these days, including Blues Pills, Graveyard, Greta Van Fleet, Troubled Horse, Rival Sons, Siena Root, and much more, the world is bound to overlook some, but make sure you don't pass up the chance to experience the music of The Vintage Caravan. This latest Gateways is red hot, and well worth your immediate attention. Then, go back and experience the rest of their fine catalog.

Track Listing
1. Set Your Sights
2. The Way
3. Reflections
4. On The Run
5. All This Time
6. Hidden Streams
7. Reset
8. Nebula
9. Farewell
10. Tune Out

Added: October 10th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1301
Language: english

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