I really like that name – Voodoo Vegas. I don’t know why, I just think it has a nice ring to it. But the name pretty much gives away what kind of music the band play. I mean, can you see a black metal band being called Voodoo Vegas? Nope, me neither. AOR? Pop? Soul or R&B? Thought so. When you’re called Voodoo Vegas, your music will be rootsy, raunchy, ballsy hard rock with a lot of sleaze in it. That’s what that name says to me. Voodoo Vegas is a five piece rock band – Lawrence Case on lead vocals, Jon Dawson and Meryl Hamilton on guitars, Ash Moulton on bass and Jonno Smyth on the drums – that hails from Britain and has released one full length album prior to this E.P. (what’s up with all these damned E.P.’s??) called The Rise Of Jimmy Silver back in 2013 to critical acclaim and since then the guys – and girl – has been touring as openers for bands such as Y&T, Glenn Hughes, Uriah Heep and The Quireboys, gaining quite the reputation as a great live act. Your truly had heard the name Voodoo Vegas before, but before I dug into this E.P. I had never heard a note of their music so I was pretty curious of if I had guessed their style of music right.
The title track opens the album and what comes out is – you guessed it – sleazy hard rock with a big chunk of attitude and balls. The song is a mix of the dirty rock and roll Guns N’ Roses played on their debut and the more melodic rock that reached its peak in 1991. Yes, the song is a good one and I can see it go down well live. Second song “Tied Up” is another sleaze bag but with a bit of a punk influence. However, I just don’t feel the song. I think it sounds like demo and even though I don’t give a crap if a band is original or not, I have heard this a million times before. I really like the groovy and sleazy rhythm of “Round And Round” and I hear lots of Aerosmith here, but also a chunk of Ratt, which is kind of ironic because both Aerosmith and Ratt has a song named “Round And Round”… However, there is something with the melody that doesn’t reach out to me and therefore falters a bit. Good, but not great. Best of all is “Killing Joke”, though. It contains a large dose of Guns N’ Roses but most of all it shows the identity of Voodoo Vegas and this song rocks with the best of them. Heavy sleaze rock with lots of attitude, just like the way this kind of music should be performed.
To sum this up, this is not a bad E.P. although it’s not that awesome either. I don’t mind bands that doesn’t invent the wheel again, but I need some identity and there’s not enough of that on this E.P. Also, the music is a bit too one-dimensional for me, not enough variation. To me, Voodoo Vegas sounds like one of these bands that jumped on the sleaze / glam / melodic hard rock bandwagon at the Sunset Strip a couple of years too late, a band that tried to sound just like everyone else, but forgot one of the most important things, to be yourself and not a carbon copy of everyone else. Ordinary sleaze rock to these ears and I did not get the urge to check their 2013 debut album either. All the criticism aside, there is potential here and even though I can’t pin point what it is, I hear something in their music and attitude that have me believing that Voodoo Vegas just might be a force to be reckoned with in the future. I might not go back and check their debut out but I will keep an eye (ear) open in the future to see what this lot has to show for themselves.
2. Tied Up
3. Round And Round
4. Killing Joke