Italian rockers Voodoo Highway exploded onto the scene in 2011 with their debut album “Broken Uncle’s Inn”. Two years on and their second album follows on with a slice of good time rock that brings to mind the rock scene of the late seventies and early eighties.
It’s interesting listening to opening track here as I’m immediately drawn to Helloween’s Pink Bubbles and Kameleon era as the song has a similarly silly vibe to it that the ‘ween did back then. Even Federico Di Marco’s vocals are at times Kiske-like. You wonder if this is how the remainder of the album will follow but thankfully Voodoo Highway find themselves moving into territory that’s more akin to late seventies and early eighties rock.
Could You Love Me is a perfect example of this, mixing some great chorus work and driving rock riffs that wouldn’t be out of place from guys like Whitesnake, while Wastin’ Miles is an a-typical rock ballad that calls on bands like Toto, Journey, and the likes. On occasion there is some great keyboard work, Mountain High has some rich sounding notes and solos akin to something you would hear from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. Cold with Love on the other hand pulls out those meaty hammond organ notes that fit like a glove into this style of rock.
…and on the album goes. It’s middle of the road rock, it’s not something that’s going to set the heather on fire but that’s not to say it’s a poor album either. My biggest problem is that I’ve heard it all before in some shape or form and when that happens your songs need to carry memorable riffs, choruses or solos to make them stand out and stick in your head. Sadly there just isn’t enough of that in Showdown until you get to final and bonus track Broken Uncle’s Inn which has a grand evil flavour running underneath thanks to that rich hammond organ weaving throughout the whole song. Its middle section hearkens back to Hammer Horror films before slinging a dirty almost Sabbath-like riff out at you. It almost makes you scream in frustration knowing that, off the back of this track, Voodoo Highway definitely have something there. It’s a shame it only appears at the end of the album.
Showdown is available from April 26th 2013 with Dust on the Tracks Records through Sony (Europe), MVD (USA), Proper Music Group (UK), Universal (Canada).
1. This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll, Wankers
2. Fly To The Rising Sun
3. Midnight Hour
4. Could You Love Me
5. Wastin’ Miles
6. Church of Clay
7. Mountain High
8. Cold With Love
9. A Spark From The Secret Fire
10. Prince Of Moonlight
11. Till It Bleeds (Bonus)
12. Broken Uncle’s Inn (Bonus)
Voodoo Highway are:
Federico Di Marco – Vocals
Matteo Bizzarri – Guitar
Filippo Cavallini – Bass Guitar
Alessandro Duò – Organ and Keys
Vincenzo Zairo – Drums