Album review: VOODOO VEGAS – Freak Show Candy Floss

In this special feature, Voodoo Vegas frontman Lawrence Case introduces several tracks from the album ‘Freak Show Candy Floss’. (First broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 30 October 2016 as part of ‘New to GRTR!’)

VOODOO VEGAS - Freak Show Candy Floss

[Release date 04.11.16]

Reviewed on these pages a year ago, Voodoo Vegas’ EP release “Hypnotize”, which followed debut album “The Rise of Jimmy Silver” (2013), was a nibble on your earlobe, a slightly painful, tingling hooker-red fingernail down your back. On November 4th of this year, the Bournemouth crotch-rockers will release new album, “Freak Show Candy Floss” – a proper, hand-down-the-front-of-your-jeans collection of fine, thunderous ditties ably recorded and produced in Madrid by Will Maya (The Answer).

Taking a baseball bat to the oft-quoted “difficult second album” syndrome, Voodoo Vegas prove that it’s not that hard to forge a damn good follow-up if you’ve got real talent. On the basis that what critics want is “something the same but better”, Voodoo Vegas have produced a new album of revved-up rock which encapsulates their innate Britishness, honed by hard work touring the European festival circuits (8,000 punters recently in Slovenia and a slot on MTV Slovenia!).

New guitarist, Jon “JD” Dawson, is the go-faster stripes on an already lean machine, forming a twin axe-attack with Meryl Hamilton that’s as complementary as pie and peas.
Stick-smith and easily the most eloquent man-at-the-back, Jonno Smyth, and bass-tickler, Ash “The Beast” Moulton lay down a foundation which is as solid as a concrete hippo. All of which allows front-man extraordinaire, Lawrence Case, to flaunt and flush his pipes all over this excellent album. He also mixes up some delicious harmonica which is rarely heard to such good effect in hard rock.

After the rollicking, ear-bollocking opener, “Backstabber” slaps the listener upside the head, Voodoo Vegas rampage through these new songs with wildfire intensity and incredibly intelligent writing and song-structuring like on the brilliant “Resolution” (Scorps Matthias Jabs surely giving a “zwei sums up” to that solo). “Killing Joke” is just a classy slab of granite whilst “Poison” prowls with bluesy menace. Juggernaut riffage motors throughout the album and is most orgasmic on “I Hear You Scream” and “Black Hearted Woman” (Dio is smiling down – or up – on this one) whilst album closer “Walk Away” is heavier than gravity – the Voodoo’s on fire.

Radio-friendly “Long Time Gone”, with a wicked Riverdance-rock Celtic groove has the band at its most vocally powerful, as does “Sleeping In The Rain” – the compulsory, but definitely not gratuitous, ballad-in-the-bag.

Candy Floss melts after the first lick but the Freak Show which is Voodoo Vegas will last long on the tongue. Well done, boys and girls – five gold stars. *****

Review Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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