Voodoo Kings: Systems Green – album review
Voodoo Kings – Systems Green (Nervous/21st Century Music)
The Voodoo Kings say that the original voodoo rock n roll sound is rising up from the swamps. Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham listens and gets it.
It’s been a while; it’s been a good long time since I’ve been drawn back to the start. To the sound it all came from. I love Rock’n’Roll, a love ingrained into me by listening to my Dad’s old heavy records. I didn’t understand for a while why it meant so much to so many people and why the sounds weren’t heavier and louder. But it came back, odd snatches on the radio, songs playing in the background and the realisation that when this glorious sound was born it meant absolutely everything. So as someone who has lived for music for most of my brief time here I understood.
Not to detract from anyone else, not to pour praise on any one of the band above the others, but this album wouldn’t be half the album it is without the utterly fantastic slap double bass that drives it onwards, upwards and towards a rock’n’roll bequiffed fantastic sound. The drums compliment it completely, subtle and crystal clear as together Sam and Whippet create something that draws right back to the beginning and throws it spitting and shouting into the light of day. The guitars are pretty much spot on, the strings snap and twang, they go from spaghetti western twang to the rock’n’roll strum that tugs on your heartstrings and your dancing feet. Dave’s voice is a rough edged smooth croon that fits this music as well as a well worn leather jacket fits with an old torn pair of Levi’s. This music is for youth. Grabbed with both hands, lived to the utmost and disappearing into when the mind turns to times past.
I may have given the impression that this album is a backwards facing retro fest. If I have then read again, and realise as they play their hearts out that this is the sound of now, that guitar sound has travelled from the roots of rock all the way through the Cramps and Motorhead, Two Wounded Birds and even the likes of Johnny Marr, it makes you groove and move, it is pretty much spot on.
The Voodoo Kings have captured the Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly, psyched out, howling at the midnight moon feeling completely, channelling the spirits of Eddie and the King, Lux and Ivy and Lemmy to make a sound that feels like a cold wind trying hard to ruffle your quiff. So pull on your leather, comb your hair and get Green, go find the Voodoo Kings, they’re out there somewhere tonight playing their hearts out.
The Voodoo Kings website is here. They are also on Facebook here. If you want a copy of the album, and why wouldn’t you? you can contact the band through the website or facebook, they are also on sale at their gigs and Vinyl Destination in Coventry Market.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.