Brit hard rock heroes in waiting bid to leave the underground

Last year, Bournemouth mob Voodoo Vegas released an EP, it was in preparation for a new album. On this very site their main man Laurence explained that it was a “re-introduction” to the band, and we concluded our review with the thought that “if you thought you knew Voodoo Vegas then think again.”

Now, a year later comes the fruits of that labour and the new look, the new attitude and the new album, and “Freak Show Candyfloss” delivers on those 2015 promises.

Only one of the songs from “Hypnotise” makes the cut – the single “Killing Joke” – and that means we are 14 songs into this brave new world. What those songs show beyond doubt is that VV are a band who are brimming with ideas, but crucially now have the confidence and the skill to see them through in a way that they didn’t before.

Things charge out of the blocks too, “Backstabber” is ready for a scrap with anyone who gets in its way – and Laurence is a big bloke by the way – “Long Time Gone” gets huge bonus points for doing the twin guitar groove thing quite so well. MV can pay this no higher compliment than to suggest that if it was on the next Black Star Riders record it wouldn’t be out of place in any way.

Ground rules established the thing is off and running, “Resolution” begins with some lilting acoustics to become a real slammer, “Killing Joke” is as good now as it was back last year, and the band are ready to take chances too.

To that end, “Lady Divine” has a mighty, deliberate groove, and some real dirty, funky, fuzzy guitar, and there’s a bluesy, countrified feel to “Poison”, but it’s all shot through with a classy sheen that suggests a band right on the top of their game.

On a record full of highlights “Black Heart Woman” seems to be the one that ties all the strands together and has the catchiest hook you could imagine, before a soaring solo tops the thing off, but as if to prove that this isn’t all about rock n roll bluster, “Sleeping In The Rain” is gentle, stripped back acoustics done right.

A record you can never quite pigeonhole, “Freak Show Candyfloss” has time for one more mighty thumper. “I Hear You Scream” is like taking a wrecking ball to a Wendy House so huge are its intentions, while “Walk Away” is nothing more and nothing less than classic rock given a modern twist by modern classic rock’s best bands.

You sensed all along that Voodoo Vegas knew they had something special in “Freak Show Candyfloss” and they’ve probably got more songs up their sleeves too. The only cloud on the horizon perhaps, is that the market for this type of is crowded. That said, if this was a US band, we’d be proclaiming them as the next batch of arena botherers. If a band from Bournemouth gets the same treatment, then who knows where they can go?

For now, though, Viva Voodoo Vegas!

Rating 9/10

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