Saturday 18 August 2018

The Vintage Caravan - Gateways (Album Review)

Release date: August 31st 2018. Label: Nuclear Blast Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Gateways – Tracklisting

Set Your Sights
The Way
On The Run
All This Time
Hidden Streams
Tune Out
The Chain (FLEETWOOD MAC Cover) Bonus Track (DIGI and 2LP only!)


Óskar Logi - Guitar and vocals
Alexander Örn - Bass and backup vocals
Stefán Ari - Drums and backup vocals


Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan describe their sound as Classic Rock. There bio notes that the average age of the band members is around 24 years old. As this guy just turned 41, my definition of classic rock (Zeppelin, Who, Boston) differs a bit from theirs (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine), which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Gateways is the band's fourth album, but is my first exposure to these guys, and I am glad to have finally found them. While their sound is classic rock influenced, I wouldn’t necessarily say it is a retro sound, but a bit more in feel. Gateways is a sonically inspired, excellently played and well recorded record. The guitars are big and crunch, the drumming is heavy, and the band carries a solid groove throughout. The vocals are also very solid and cleanly delivered.

The record opens with the groove heavy Set Your Sights which delivers on the big time crunchy guitar sound and closes with some killer soloing and sweet tempo change at the end. The Way opens with a fuzzed out Lenny Kravitz like guitar riff that carries on throughout the song and features an absolutely wicked solo. A marching drum sound opens the tightly wound Reflections, that explodes with an intense, monster riff and a killer bass groove. 

On the Run opens with an acoustic guitar opening and a low rumbling intro that gives way to a killer 80’s rock sound and some more intense solos. This is an awesome track! All This Time rumbles in with a RATM guitar and bass groove and a super catchy chorus. Hidden Streams follows and is a song that shows the bands multifaceted range. It is a high energy rock song with a couple of tempo shifts and changes. Reset brings in a bit of an Urge Overkill sounding chorus with a heavy psych breakdown. 

Nebula opens with a spacy, acoustic sound that is very Bowie/Floyd inspired and also brings in elements of Alice in Chains like vocals and vibe. The song closes with a big guitar outro. The albums closes on a bit of a darker note with Farewell. The song has a darker, grungier feel, especially with the chorus. The vibe continues in to the closer, Tune Out, and it’s somber, dark, spacy tempo and feel. The track also features a bit of mellotron and a psych heavy, Blue Oyster Cult like breakdown.

(Editor’s Note - Sadly our promo review copy didn’t have The Chain listed which the retail copies will have).

Gateways is an impressive record with it’s themes of travelling both mentally and physically showing the band with a mature approach to their music and songwriting. Whatever era you consider classic rock, you are sure to find to find elements of those songs with the Vintage Caravan. The band has a real knack for taking the sounds of others and making them uniquely their own. I would highly recommend Gateways! Dig on it.

Todd S - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Gateways be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Nuclear Blast Records from August 31st 2018