Vaquelin, a band I saw for the first time on All Hallows Eve last year have just released their debut album, ‘Where Dreams Hurt’. In reviewing that gig I said, “If Led Zeppelin had sweaty, dirty, illicit sex with Bring Me The Horizon, Vaquelin would be the haunted offspring.” Having listened to the album I can confirm that I absolutely stand by that statement.” The album opens with “Soliloquy” which sets off at a sedate pace in a soft style but builds to a planet-destroying crescendo with riffs that could break the tops of mountains. “Voice Cracks & Blackjacks” has a dark, menacing undercurrent but in contrast the melodies and hooks are immense. Adrian Boudry’s vocals are supreme on this track. Having listened to the album twice I think “Iridescent Streetlights” is shaping up to be my favourite track, at least for now. At times Callum Scott’s playing borders on Mick Ronson at his peak, especially in the last part of the track where he freaks out in his own Moonage Daydream! It would fit perfectly into a 70s rock playlist, but just in style, Vaquelin are originals, not facsimiles. There are classic rock influences all over this record, but every one of them enhances rather than detracts. In a parallel Universe “The Garden” would be all over the radio. I am not sure why I think this, my mind is warped, but I would love to hear Harry Styles cover this one live.
If the Red Hot Chilli Peppers collaborated with Led Zeppelin I think it might sound like “Hyperdepressant”. Jack Stephenson’s drumming on this track is hard enough to wake John Bonham. If Muse had gone really, really heavy they may have recorded something as powerful as “Though The Heavens Fall” which smashes into you like Thor’s mighty Mjolnir at full pelt! I think the band realise that a small respite is needed after the sonic assault of the first six tracks so they give you a short but rather nice instrumental called “Interlude”, it does what it says on the tin. The towering sonic attack continues with “Mad Alice Lane” with some axe work that Slash would be proud of. For those fact fans among you, Mad Alice Lane is in York, although it is now known as Lund’s Court. Mad Alice is said to haunt this snickelway.
Vaquelin prove they have a wide-ranging talent with the quite funky “Silence”, it’s as if the Average White Band took a more rock direction. The effects that open “Six Miles Deep” before Callum Scott’s masterful riffs kick in would fit well on a film soundtrack, maybe a slasher movie. There isn’t a bad song on the album and I think this one is where every band member gives 110%. The rhythm section of Luca and Jack is monumentally magnificent. On “Rebound Effect” use their funk credentials again in the choppy acoustic sound which supports one of Adrian’s best voice performances on display here. Currently my second favourite track! The title track is the penultimate tune here and it rocks like an absolute bastard, like Motorhead with Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy on vocal duties. Album closer “A Wave Of Poisoned Joy” is as close to a power ballad and chilled as Vaquelin come. This album is so well written, produced and played it is hard to believe that this is a debut release. This York band have the potential and ambition to do great things and I want to follow them on that journey, you should too.
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[…] moved into a solid heavy rock groove playing songs from their stunningly good debut album, ‘Where Dreams Hurt‘. The band were headlining tonight as Sick Joy had to pull out. But one of the many things […]
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