I honestly don’t know how to start this review. It was a Thursday evening if I recall; I was scanning through the list of albums available to review. Oh my, there were some scary titles, album art that had all sorts of demons on them, inverted crosses and even a robotic woman on fire. But amongst them sat this little chap looking slightly forlorn and out of place, an abandoned Stratocaster placed against a solitary Marshall stack. I’m not sure if I felt sorry for it or just wanted to rescue it before it was bullied by the big boys, but either way I hit download and Voodoo Circle escaped its internet prison and found sanctuary on my hard drive.
I needn’t have felt either of those emotions. Within seconds of hitting play, Voodoo Circle were dishing out the type of self assured rock generally accompanied by one of those videos with a huge stage show but no audience. You know the type, lots of pointing, spinning and a liberal dash of pyrotechnics. Opening up with the flamboyant ‘No Solution Blues’, the Voodoo Circle manifesto is firmly laid before you. Sounding in many ways like a latter day Whitesnake – cum – Rainbow with a dash of Bonfire, these guys play music, yes music. Music probably in standard tuning too, with songs reminding me of everything I initially loved about this genre. Lyrics that quite often feature ‘Baby, baby’, ‘Whoah’, and ‘roads that he’s been down before / too many times etc’ (delete as appropriate). It may sound cliché on paper, it probably does in reality but I couldn’t care less. It’s one of those albums where I would have to question your sensibilities to not enjoy it. Fantastic, melodic hook driven hard rock. You can’t go wrong.
Vocals are delivered by the incredible David Readman who sounds like he could fill the leather trousers of any classic rock band’s lead singer. It has that vintage sound without being a homage. All the influences are blended to produce great tunes. For instance, the Rainbow-esque ‘King Of Your Dreams’ features the type of solo that I haven’t heard since Ritchie Blackmore literally went away with the fairies, or the Dokken flavoured ‘When Destiny Calls’ that would have George Lynch busting some serious moves in his guitar dojo. I’m not even going to focus on the fret tickling of Alex Beyrodt. That said, he should be given credit for having the ability to play faster than I can hear. No, it’s the consistent high calibre of songs on offer that when listening to this album affirms my love of music. I’m so happy I could punch the air with my imaginary mic-stand.
I’d best throw some criticism in there. If I was being picky I’d trim a few tracks but that really would be down to personal taste. I wasn’t over impressed by the more bluesier numbers but luckily the skip button would soon land me in one of the other 8/9 great tracks and happiness would be resumed.
In summary, try it. Don’t take my word for it.