Spinefarm Records [Release date 27.05.13]
Back in 2008 I chatted to Tony Newton of Voodoo Six in the now defunct Limelight Club, Crewe. Five years on and it has taken perhaps a little longer than he or the band may have expected to break through the mass of heavy rock bands out there.
In many ways we always thought V6 had a lot more going for them. Newton’s honed songwriting skills (he previously played in a band called Chariot and has had some success with Dirty Deeds) and a link with Iron Maiden would come right this year as the band support them on their European tour.
But there have been a couple of stop-starts. The loss of a vocalist, and a little bit of momentum too. The band’s debut album in 2006, ‘Feed My Soul’, was re-recorded with an extra track and released as ‘First Hit For Free’ in 2008. The follow-up ‘Fluke’ started to gain the band wider attention whilst the interim, download-only ‘Falling Knives’ EP (November 2011) included three songs that now appear on the new album.
The first album seems to have been expunged completely from the latest label press releases with ‘Songs…’ described as their second studio album. But actually it was an excellent debut that we awarded five stars.
The latest album doesn’t really make many concessions to modern hard rock although closer to the likes of Black Stone Cherry than, say, Alter Bridge. A heavier version of Audioslave maybe. Old-school done with panache and a shed-load of humungous riffs.
The gut-churning riffs are all correct and present as they were on that erased debut in 2008: just listen to ‘All That Glitters’ and ‘Stop’. The former is a great vehicle for vocalist Luke Purdie and a great rock-out at the end showcases the guitars of Chris Jones and Matt Pearce.
In fact the whole album is a triumph for Purdie and he shines on songs like ‘Lead Me On’, ‘Sink Or Swim’ and ‘Brick Wall’ which has a whiff of Bad Company swagger about it, albeit with Mick Ralphs on steroids.
Throughout, there is a commercial sensibility to the writing, some welcome light and shade, and Tony Newton has always stuck to his original game plan. His bass-playing too is a highlight.
Even with the heightened profile of the Maiden tour I cannot see V6 taking over the world anytime soon, or even a moderately sized developing country. But whilst there is nothing startlingly original on this album you will struggle to find a better riff-laden heavy rock offering this year. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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