The Vintage Caravan - 'Gateways'

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The Vintage Caravan - 'Gateways'

An excellent slice of classic Rock in an exciting and nostalgic yet fresh style.

Sometimes the name of a group can give you a preconceived idea of their sound, however, this three-piece band from Iceland sound nothing like the Progressive style I had anticipated. Formed in 2006, this is the group's fourth album and in terms of overall sound, they live very much in the land of classic Hard Rock and Blues Rock. Referencing Wikipedia, the band themselves have described their sound and style as "classic Hard Rock of the sixties and seventies with a powerful attitude and modern twist", and their influences are listed as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Mastodon, Rush and Cream. I tend to agree with most of that assessment as I got a strong vibe of three-piece Rock combos plying their trade in the late sixties and seventies; I would add Jimi Hendrix and Rory Gallagher to that list.

The group have toured extensively since their formation and as well as their own headline tours in Europe, they have also opened for the likes of Blues Pills and Europe, and played major festivals such as Graspop, Wacken and Hellfest. They have perfected their sound during these shows and this resulted in them being signed to Nuclear Blast in 2013.

I enjoyed this album right from the moment when opening track 'Set Your Sights' burst forth from my speakers, instantly reminding me of Rival Sons and Blues Pills. Other highlights include the excellent 'On The Run' which has a gentle acoustic guitar intro that builds slowly into a driving Melodic Hard Rock gem of a track; lead guitarist and lead vocalist Oskar Logi lets rip with a scintillating guitar solo towards the song's close. The slightly Psychedelic 'Nebula' with its dreamy guitar tones is memorable and album closer 'Tune Out' brings matters to a very satisfactory ending. This song develops through a strong Blues riff that is complemented by a brooding vocal before rising to an almighty climax with crashing guitars and multi-layered backing vocals.

The Vintage Caravan have not tried to reinvent the wheel with 'Gateways', but instead delivered an excellent slice of classic Rock in an exciting and nostalgic yet fresh style. It's easy to see why they are attracting a lot of attention and I for one hope to catch them live in November when they play in Glasgow.

Robin McGhie

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