2015’s ‘Hypnotise’ EP was a hint of what was to come from Bournemouth based Voodoo Vegas. Modern hard rock, with a twin guitar sound, that had riffs aplenty, and big, catchy tunes. Life on the road as a working band has seen Voodoo Vegas grow in stature, and mature as songwriters as well as musicians. Second album, ‘Freak Show Candy Floss’ is the result of constant miles on the road getting to the next gig, learning from those around them, and striving to make themselves a better band. As far as albums from fledgling bands go then this is top notch, quality songwriting, fantastic playing and crystal clear production.
‘Backstabber’ has a punchy groove to the guitars, as the song swaggers around like the tough guy on the block, but then the album takes a sharp turn left with ‘Long Time Gone’. The guitars have an almost Thin Lizzy-like jig to them during the intro, and again through the chorus. Very ‘Gary Moore’. It’s no surprise when the feet involuntary start tapping. It’s a jaunty little number that will no doubt see the front rows bouncing played live. Classic sound. The acoustic intro to ‘Resolution’ leads into a foot-stomping romp, which has a very cool bassline from Ash Moulton throughout. There are lots of changes in tempo, as the band look to mix it up. Lawrence Case has an earthy, powerful voice, that especially impresses towards the songs climax, however, it’s the pounding drum sound from Jonno Smyth that remains with you for some time after.
‘Killing Joke’ is the lead single/video from the album, a twisted few minutes that proves yet again that The Joker is the coolest character of all time. The song is dark with a serious, brooding undertone, Case singing “Nobody’s laughing, they’re smiling through the pain”, before uttering the immortal phrase.. “Why so serious?”. Meryl Hamilton comes in with a face-melting solo, before handing the spotlight over to fellow six-stringer, Jon Dawson for his moment to shine. ‘Lady Divine’ gets an extra point for a smoking hot harmonica solo from Case, which leads into ‘Poison’, a bluesy, hard rock hybrid, where again, the harmonica is dusted off. ‘Black Heart Woman’, and ‘I Hear You Scream’, are perfect slices of modern hard rock mixed with the golden days of Sebastian Bach era Skid Row, especially on the latter. ‘Sleeping In The Rain’ is a simple acoustic ballad which raises the heartbreaking subject of homelessness, a subtle difference in shade from the other tracks on the album. The album finishes with ‘Walk Away’, which has a real bite to it, with loads of wah wah on the guitars, and a massive, modern overall sound. When of Voodoo Vegas lock into the same groove, it truly does crush. Another quality release from another young British rock band bubbling under. Suddenly, the future doesn’t look so gloomy after all.