The Vintage Caravan - Voyage | Review

The Vintage Caravan tell a story we’ve all heard before. Drunk off the potent cocktail of their favourite bands, a group of teenage friends decide to form their own and start writing what their inspired and driven hearts and minds concoct. The difference to this tale however is that, not every group of friends sound as effortlessly brilliant as these do. There is just something so joyously natural about the noise this Icelandic trio produce.

Formed circa-2006 in the Southwest of the nation, Greater Reykjavik to be precise, it wasn’t until 2009 that their hobby became an obsession, a project with tangible results and more than just a wide eyed fantasy. A self-titled debut in 2011 saw Nuclear Blast knocking enthusiastically at their door, pen in hand. The band was “humbled and honoured,” to be offered such a deal and they join a roster which already boasts some of retro-tinged rock’s finest upstarts in Graveyard, Witchcraft, Orchid, Blues Pills and more.

Their place alongside such bands should be enough to convince people that these are the real deal, but the truth is, the music does all the necessary talking. When your record opens with a track that sounds like Rush smashing their way through Cream’s Crossroads, jaws are going to hit the floor. As soft as it is energetic, as trippy and lucid as it is frantic and grooving, this is a flawless record and is more contagious than common cold. "Expand Your Mind" is sexy and slick, doing exactly what it says on the tin in the process, while the wonderfully entitled "Cocaine Sally" is played with a strutting conviction.

Across the record, which is diverse in tonality, feel and dynamics – skills some bands twice their age are yet to master – each member impresses greatly when their moment in the spotlight arrives. "Midnight Meditation’s" thumping riff could even be the Paranoid of the 21st century, "Let Me Be" is simply a fantastic rock n’ roll song and you’d be a fool to fault the band’s unbridled ambition in the record’s closing statement; the 12 minute-long "The Kings Voyage". Merging elements of Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Rush and every other prestigious band that dominated the 60s and 70s, it is a truly astonishing final flourish to a truly astonishing record.

The band’s collective spotlight moment, you feel, cannot be far away. Sure, they haven’t reinvented the wheel, far from it. But why fix something if it isn’t broken, when it’s this much fun?

Phil Weller

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Phil Weller is a freelance writer with over 4 years experience of journalism under his belt. Having created pieces for the likes of BBC Radio 2 and reporting on the London 2012 Olympics, he began writing about the music he is passionate at the turn of the year. He and now writes for various sites including Planet Mosh, Manchester Rocks and Sludgelord. Follow his deluded ramblings @philipweller.