Hello and welcome to the 1960’s! Or is it the 1970’s? Surely this band, this album by this wonderful band, must be some forgotten or long lost gem from back in the halcyon days of rock yore? Whilst listening to The Vintage Caravan’s latest full-length (their fourth, by the way), Gateways, I was immediately transported back to the days of elephant bell-bottoms, patchouli, beads, bells and all sorts of other groovy things. Do not be dissuaded, however, dear reader. TVC is not just about psych and hippy-prog meanderings. They are downright HEAVY. In fact, while listening, I used the phrases HAF (heavy as fuck) and RC (Riff City) in my notes repeatedly!
This power trio from Iceland will make you stand up and do some serious grooving. Why, I even caught myself banging/bobbing my head a bit and tapping my toes during a few tunes. There are 10 tracks on board here, and for the most part, they are relentless and fierce. Set Your Sights, the opener, reminded this writer of early metal – the stuff most rags call proto-metal (Blue Cheer, Sabbath, etc.). There were also some cool vocal harmonies and a wicked little guitar solo.
The Way is very psych and heavy at same time, with another guitar solo for the six-string folks out there. Reflections, the featured video and, presumably, a single of sorts, features more excellent riffage and lots of bass. On the Run features a big build up to start, and becomes something of a stomper with a big finish. All This Time is another super heavy number with poppy vocal harmonies. Hidden Streams is very heavy, some proper noise with a busy drummer! Reset is another absolute corker, with that early metal vibe I mentioned earlier.
At this point, things get a bit strange. Nebula features some pretty good fingerpicking, and kind of a cool mysterious vibe to it. However, this one never really quite achieves lift-off. Farewell is another straight ahead rocker, perhaps even a bid for AOR FM? The final track, Tune Out, I must confess I was hoping for a big prog epic. I was somewhat disappointed, but then that does happen occasionally!
1. Set Your Sights
2. The Way
4. On The Run
5. All This Time
6. Hidden Streams
10. Tune Out
Playing Time: 47 minutes and 52 seconds
Óskar Logi - Guitar and vocals
Alexander Örn - Bass and backup vocals
Stefán Ari - Drums and backup vocals