British rockers Vambo release their debut self-tiled album on the 25th October through Goliath Records, a new label that is working via Universal. The album which has been produced and mastered by Ray Stiles who has previously worked with MUD and The Hollies, completely encapsulates and distils Vambo’s live energy.
I first came across Vambo on the 18th July when I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Jared James Nichols at the Boston Music Room in London.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtWVFbbkFhY&w=560&h=315]
The performance I witnessed that night, totally blew me away and so to then be given the opportunity to review their debut album was not one I was going to turn down.
I remember standing their that night, listening intently whilst watching these four guys rule the stage, thinking this a band that has a really bright future. The quality of their song writing is exemplary and the musicianship they possess is of the highest order.
After now having the chance to listen to their album a number of times, getting ready to write this review, I can safely say my initial assessment was not wrong.
What Vambo have released here is an album deep rooted in the classic rock of yesteryear but one that is so relevant today with the burgeoning New Wave of Classic Rock scene and the desire of music fans to reconnect with music they grew up listening to.
It is an album for those of an age that grew up on top quality 70’s rock and fans of those bands who have maybe been inspired to delve into their parents record collection to indulge themselves in bands that laid the foundations for the rock and metal scene that we now have.
Many of those bands have now long gone or only release new material sporadically and Vambo will clearly satisfy the yearnings of fans looking for new music to satisfy their cravings.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d-4JMUJat8&w=560&h=315]
The 11 tracks on offer are heavily influenced by luminaries such as Deep Purple, David Coverdale, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith but in no way do they plagiarise them. The music is swathed in soulful, bluesy, rocky vocals from Jack Stiles with some seriously sizzling, red hot, guitar work by Pete Lance.
What you get is an album full of tunes that have been well crafted to leave the listeners ears ringing sweetly from the divine music coming out of their speakers of headphones.
As the opening riffs and drum beats to “Now You See Me” blast out at you in all their majestic glory, they really set the tone for a track that is embodied in sublime guitar and beautiful soulful rock vocals all backed up with a powerhouse rhythm section that drives the track with it’s infectious beat.
That, along with the groove of the track lay down a high benchmark for the rest of the release.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WisISm7Puo8&w=560&h=315]
The Planet Rock playlisted “Why Why Why” is another exquisite anthemic rocker that keeps the tempo flowing perfectly. Full of Pete Lance’s smouldering guitar , it comes complete with an electrifying guitar solo and gives Jack Stiles the chance to show his vocal range and ability to the full. Again, the whole track is completed with some really meaty drums from Steve Price and some wonderful bass parts from James Scott.
This is followed up by “Cry Woman” which kicks in with an outstanding riff before the songs develops into a funky, passionate number with a dirty groove and vibe to it. Another scorching hot Lance solo and some tantalising time changes give it a truly mesmerising feel that really has to heard and then played over and over again.
We’re Not The Same” gives a real glimpse into the varied influences that have been pulled together on this release and the writing skills of the band as they create a sumptuous little number that has a down and dirty vibe to it but also contains some wonderful harmonious vocals.
“Dancing With The Devil” is a soulful, bluesy ballad that will have you swooning as the track builds into a blissful number full of emotion and heartfelt lyrics. The harmony and melody in Stiles voice is so evident on this track as he holds you captivated on a track that will surely become an essential part of their live set.
“World of Misery” is another smouldering mid-tempo rocker that has a beat and rhythm to get your feet tapping and some mouth watering dirty guitar work, the song grips you from the first listen. “Down Little Mama” has a totally captivating groove and vibe that just entices your hips to start gyrating to the feel of the song and it leads nicely into “Running In Circles” which is another slower paced track that builds into an epic, anthemic track, complete with spine tingling guitar and vocals that make your hair stand on end.
“Camouflage” is a slab of fine hard, melodic rock that wouldn’t be out of place on a David Coverdale album. It has a plodding beat to it that is just perfect to drive to and a catchy sing-a-long lyric that gets you hooked straight away.
As with all the tracks on the album the guitar work by Pete Lance is delicious, at times it simmers behind Jack Stiles vocals whilst at others it explodes in your face and makes you draw breath at the quality of it.
“Vambo Roolz” smoulders and sizzles right in front of your very eyes. The luscious vibe and enchanting beat created by drummer Steve Price and bassist James Scott is draw droppingly brilliant and takes us into the albums closing track perfectly.
That number, “Fast Car” is a fast paced number, full of Ian Gillan inspired vocals that fires up like an American muscle car and takes you on a full throttle journey, with its peddle to the metal that ends the album perfectly.
Turn this track up to 11 and try and keep yourself within the speed limit whilst getting lost in the music. I said at the start of the review the band were influenced by Deep Purple and of any track on this high quality release, Fast Car would not look or sound out of place on any of that bands releases.
What a track to finish the album with, it leaves you in no doubt as to where the bands roots and inspirations are and certainly left me clamouring for more.
If you are lost for something to do this weekend, get yourself down to your local record store and pick yourself up a copy or at least give it a stream online.
It really is a top notch release from a fledgling British outfit. The quality of the musicianship deserve the chance to he heard so go on, give it a listen or go out buy it.
The final word’s on this review are from the band themselves.
Vambo believes and understands rock music can be an unalloyed pleasure and in their own words “Enjoy our debut album, we’ve put a lot of hard work into it. We’re happy that it represents Vambo at this time.
Enjoy it for what it is and not for what it’s not. And like I like to say when i’m up on stage… “If you like it, buy it, if you don’t, don’t”.
Following successful appearances at both the Download Festival and Isle Of Wight Festival this year, Vambo will be touring their dynamic debut album around the UK to coincide with the release.
Vambo is an enabling vision and unequivocal triumph and sets the stage for what promises to be an even bigger 2020 for the band.
Now You See Me
Why Why Why
We’re Not The Same
Dancing With The Devil
World Of Misery
Down Little Mama
Running In Cirlcles
Jack Stiles – Vocals
Pete Lance – Guitar
James Scott – Bass
Steve Price – Drums
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