The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




JANUARY 31 2014






If you thought that Iceland was all about Bjork, The Sugarcubes and the current and very depressingly fad-chasing ‘Of Monsters and Men’ then you’d be wrong as we also thankfully have some very cool retro rock in the shape of ‘The Vintage Caravan’.


At 12 two kids formed a band, three years later they recorded their debut album, two years later it was released domestically and this year that debut is available outside Iceland. What is most remarkable about that story is how good ‘Voyage’ actually sounds, testament no doubt to some fine parental record collections!  


Starting out with the driving, muscular hard blues of ‘Craving’; there’s a distinct late sixties feel to a sound that feels so solid it couldn’t possibly have been recorded by such youngsters.  ‘Let me Be’ be confirms that, this is solid stuff and there is better to come. As far as sonics go then we are primarily in Cream meets Hendrix country but there are definitely elements of more progressive bands like King Crimson and maybe a touch of Zep and Sabbath (the latter at their most expansive and least doomy).
Sadly it’s not all gold, and when the pace is lowered for the wistful ‘Do You Remember’ the band loses so much with the lack of intensity, almost as if there’s not enough pain in the emotional bank yet to make a song like that really work. The funkier ‘Expand Your Mind’ quickly pulls it all back together and makes it clear that the band still has plenty of room to grow.


If the band is guilty of one thing it’s that they do play to their strengths, with the driven funky sound of the opening tracks pretty much what you get with songs like ‘Cocaine Sally’ and even closer ‘The King’s Voyage’. However it’s on tracks like ‘Winterland’ and ‘Midnight Meditation’ that show the strongest hints that there is more and better to come. ‘Winterland’ is a slower more contemplative song that reveals a depth that ‘Do You Remember’ failed to. ‘Midnight Meditation’ on the other hand is where the love of a Sabbath-like riff comes to the fore, a great song.


Whilst on one level you could argue that this is just good competent driving sixties blues rock, like a lot of young bands do so well (check out California’s Delta Rose for example) it’s both stunning to contemplate how young these guys are and where they came from. If they keep this up there’s no doubt where they are heading.  



Mark Diggins