Carousel Vertigo - 'Mighty'

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Carousel Vertigo - 'Mighty'

A very solid debut album with some proper, old school riffing and top notch guitar work.

Formed in 2009, Carousel Vertigo is based around the skills of Jansen Press and Vincent Martinez, two Gibson endorsed guitarists who jammed together at a music trade event in France. Marinez (a Parisian) and Press (a native of Nashville who had relocated to France) hit it off, choosing to write material in the vein of classic 70s rock.

'Mighty' is their debut and there is much here to justify the title. After honing their material by supporting Status Quo on their past two tours, Carousel Vertigo were inspired by the Quo faithful's reaction to their material and set about recording it with Yngwie Malmsteen and Coverdale/Page engineer Keith Rose handling production duties.

The music is naturally riff based and excellent, with the bulk of the tracks written by Press, Martinez and acoustic guitar player Jolynn Daniel. Press works double duty handling all the bass parts, while Martinez handles the lead vocals. He sings in a very AC/DC style, with a shriek close to Brian Johnson and a tone similar to Bon Scott, but not quite as good as either. For the most part it sounds pretty good, but every now and then it sounds a little forced.

Despite that, the rollicking 'Mighty Good Woman' is well worth checking out, sounding like Humble Pie meeting AC/DC. 'I'm A Coming World' is a full throttle stomper, while the raunchy powerhouse 'Dog For A Bone' is a standout. The Quo connection is further strengthened by '3rd Degree' which was co-written with John 'Rhino' Edwards. There's an obligatory blues cover in the form of Leon Russell's 'Help Me Through The Day' which features some fine guitar work but pales to the version Whitesnake laid down on 'Lovehunter'. Carousel Vertigo are much better at the rockers and they are here in abundance – 'Last Call For Love' being a prime example.

There are a lot of really good songs here, the only stumbling block being Martinez's voice – I like it better when he sings lower, as he does on the foot tapper 'Long Highway'. He's grown on me with repeated plays, but I do feel his vocal style is an acquired taste. That aside, a very solid debut album with some proper, old school riffing and top notch guitar work.

James Gaden

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