VOODOO VEGAS – The Rise Of Jimmy Silver (2013)
I can’t imagine a ‘more British’ band coming from a town called Bournemouth. However, judging their music style and band name, rockers VOODOO VEGAS are more Americanized than many acts born in the States.
On the debut album “The Rise of Jimmy Silver”, the UK rockers flex some powerful rock ‘n’ roll muscle, while also baring some serious soul and heart. It’s a strong and confident first release from a band that has been around since 2006, honing their skills by touring and playing all over Europe, and sharing the stage with acts like Glenn Hughes, Uriah Heep, and The Wildhearts over the years.
Channelling those years of experience, as well as some considerable musical and songwriting talent, Voodoo Vegas offers up an album packed with lean and mean rockin’ tunes, trimmed of unnecessary pretension and charged with a lot of pulsating, live-gig power.
Voodoo Vegas cites influences from Aerosmith, Guns ‘N Roses and The Darkness among others, and the music definitely brings on the hard rocking spirit of those bands.
That verve is evident right away, as the album powers up after a short instrumental “Intro” with fierce hard-rocker “King Without A Crown”. It’s a kicker of a track and a great way for the band to introduce itself, with singer Lawrence Case’s strong and edgy vocals at their most Axl-like (the similarity is there but less pronounced elsewhere on the album).
Guitarists Merylina Hamilton and Nick Brown get to strut their stuff in style, and the tune also showcases the rock-solid chops of bassist Ash Moulton and drummer Matt Jolly.
It’s followed by two other terrific rockers: “Bullet” with a great chorus that sounds primed for a sing-along when performed live: ‘one more bullet in the chamber, one more night to remember, one more day in my life same as all the rest’, and the defiant and very hooky “No More”.
The stripped down “What I Pay” changes things up with a southern-tinged, bluesy vibe showing off Case’s vocal abilities and some very nice acoustic guitar work.
There’s a short instrumental interlude leading into the fast and feisty “Mary Jane”, before the band lets it all hang out on “Ferry Song” – a fun and rollicking, classic rocker featuring both piano and harmonica playing.
One of the strongest tracks is “Lost in Confusion”, a honest to goodness rock ballad that wears its broken heart on its sleeve. It’s based on Case’s own experience of being left at the altar, and not surprisingly, his lyrics and vocals pack an extra emotional punch here. Bringing in female singer Stevie Vann Lange on backup vocals (who’s soaring vocals have previously graced albums by bands including Def Leppard and Mannfred Man’s Earth Band) adds an extra measure of goodness.
“So Unkind” goes all-out rock again with a hard and gritty, saucy and swinging vibe, and finally the band cranks it up another notch with the rousing “Jimmy Silver”, a rough and rocking love song to rock’n’roll itself.
“The Rise of Jimmy Silver” is an impressive debut from Voodoo Vegas. It’s fun, it’s tight and sharp in all the right places, and also shows off some great musical range and depth.
There’s a lot of variety in the songs which means the album never gets dull. Production is also complete, vibrant for an indie and it doesn’t feel like a debut album – it’s more the standard you’d expect from a second or third album.
I think this may be partly down to the fact that the band haven’t rushed to release an album within a year or so of starting, but instead have gained a lot of experience from playing live which has helped with the craft and recording of the album.
I get the feeling we’ll definitely be hearing a lot more from Voodoo Vegas in the future.
Really good rockin’ stuff.
01 – Intro
02 – King Without A Crown
03 – Bullet
04 – No More
05 – What I Pay
06 – Interlude
07 – Mary Jane
08 – Ferry Song
09 – Lost In Confusion
10 – So Unkind
11 – Jimmy Silver
Lawrence Case – Vocals, Harmonica
Nick Brown – Guitar
Merylina Hamilton – Guitar
Ash Moulton – Bass
Matt Jolly – Drums
Stevie Vann Lange – guest Backing Vocals
BUY IT !