Review: Vintage Trouble – '1 Hopeful Rd'

The 2nd album from American Rock outfit Vintage Trouble seems to have been a long time coming, but considering that they always seem to be on the road (currently out with AC/DC on their stadium tour), it’s a feat in it’s own right that not only did they manage to fit the time in to record it, but they also laid the ‘difficult second album’ spectre to rest. Let’s get the ‘S’ word out of the way early doors. Yes, Vintage Trouble can be ,on occasions, very soulful, but soul music can take on many forms. I consider both Paul Rodgers and Frankie Miller to be two of the best soul singers the UK has ever produced, but are a million miles away from the modern day dirges of Sam Smith and George Ezra. Soul is very much in the ear of the beholder, and Vintage Trouble have it in abundance.

‘Run Like The River’ kicks the album off with some sleazy, swampy slide guitar, before whirling dervish Ty Taylor leads his band mates into a dazzling, foot stomping, hand clapping gem of an opener, which is actually one of the few up tempo tracks on the album. The band instantly slow things down with the Rhythm and Blues tinged ‘From My Arms’, the kind of track you could stick on in the boudoir if you don’t want to go full Barry White. ‘Doin’ What You Were Doin’’ continues on with the relaxed, sultry feel, before the band come crashing in on ‘Angel City, California’, a bouncy, almost Status Quo-like beat (classic Quo, not cabaret Quo)… nothing fancy or flash, just simple Rock ‘n’ Roll done Vintage Trouble style.

‘Shows What You Know’, ‘My Heart Won’t Fall Again’, and ‘If You Loved Me’ are gorgeous examples of how soul music can be both heartbreaking and joyful, without resorting to the dire depths of Sam Smith (sticks gun in mouth and pulls the trigger). In particular, ‘My Heart Won’t Fall Again’ showcases why Taylor has drawn comparisons to legends like Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding, as does the sublime ‘Another Man’s Words’. The full throttle, foot-on-the-gas approach returns on ‘Strike Your Light’, which features some sweet backing vocals from Kamilah Marshall, and ends with an almost James Brown-esque howl from Taylor. ‘Before The Tear Drops’ is a shuffling, finger clicking, bittersweet tale, with some juicy licks from guitarist Nalle Colt, whilst ‘Another Baby’ is another rip-roaring roadhouse stomp.

Vintage Trouble are that rarest of beasts. A band that crosses genres and can equally fit opening for Paloma Faith as much as they can for AC/DC . Think about that for a second. Vintage Trouble have opened for A-Listers such as The Who, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi etc, etc. We are talking about playing to, and winning over, what must have hit close to a million people. Check out footage of the band at Glastonbury 2015 on YouTube, especially when Ty Taylor swims over the crowd on ‘Run Like The River’. Now that’s a band full of confidence, knowing that everyone that witnessed their set went home talking about it.

Vintage Trouble are a game-changing band, and ‘1 Hopeful Rd’ is a mood-changing album that If you can listen to without indulging in crap dancing then you are indeed dead from the waist down.

Review: David Stott

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