VOODOO HIGHWAY – Broken Uncle’s Inn (2011)


Hailing from Italy, Voodoo Highway has been on the road for a while, and after a self-produced EP, they’re releasing the debut album “‘Broken Uncle’s Inn”.
Voodoo Highway offer vintage hard rock, akin to the mid 70’s to early 80’s, with big riffs, a rumbling rhythm section and a healthy splash of Hammond organ.

Their sound is mainly influenced by (what else?) Deep Purple and Rainbow among many other great classic bands. However, I must say that while they use the Purple template, it never comes across as plagiarism, but rather like genuine love and respect.
Voodoo Highway never sounds like upstarts – they consistently display great taste in what they play, and how they interact.
The hot guitars and constant keyboards are always driving things, along with a splendid performance by now departed drummer Lorenzo Gollini, while bassist Filippo Cavallini supplies great playing on every track, and also provides accurate vocals throughout. Federico Di Marco is a good vocalist for this style, although he sounds a bit strained at times.
This is more rock solid riffing than virtuosity, and the band wisely kept things focused on the songs and arrangements for their debut.

“Till It Bleeds” opens the album in great form and gives a glimpse of what will follow throughout this CD; classy Hard Rock with catchy rhythms and riffs. From the killer Purple-like wailing Hammond organ to the staccato Strat/Marshall intro of the guitar solo, the band certainly show that they learned their lessons well.
Anthemic arena rock is on tap with “The Fire Will Burn Away”, this is much less Purple and more ’80s-riff hard rock. It has a huge chorus, scorching hot riffs and a lovely wah fueled solo.
“JC Superfuck” my have the catchiest chorus of the lot, even though it’s obviously vulgar. The song is made better by a fine drum segue about two and a half minutes.
“Window” is driven by some nice keyboard wizardry in duet with the guitars. This is one of the most elaborated hard rockers of the bunch, melodic and consistent.
“Running Around” is a fun fast rocker with a cool rhythm, in the Glenn Hughes style.

Curiously, the band has reserved the best pack of tracks for the end of the disc.
The title track “Broken Uncle’s Inn finds the Hammond swirling and stirring the hard rock brew. Though the song seems heavier, it’s likely the most interesting of all. There’s a surprise breakdown at three minutes with strings and some strange organ. This then erupts into a Zeppelin-like segment with a deep bass line, big riffs and harmonica. Quite original.
The obligatory slow number, “Heaven With No Stars”, is a really nice change in pace with a sweeping orchestral crescendo. A piano-organ based ballad that also features a lovely acoustic guitar solo by Bizzarri.
The harder groover “Gasoline Woman” sounds like Perfect Strangers-era Purple, with a smoking hot groove, featuring a classy keyboard solo over a sweaty riff.
“In Fact It’s The Worst” brings the album full circle, and they’re back in Blackmore territory, be it DP or Rainbow. A very strong valvular riff carries this, and the entire band is in full, open throttle mode.

Make no mistake, Voodoo Highway are dipping into the past for a few ideas, but they’ve learn all the tricks, packaged them and added a healthy spoon of catchiness to generate an enjoyable debut.
On “Broken Uncle’s Inn” expect to hear a classic hard rock album, exuding with an abundance of strong guitars, over-the-top-80s-esque vocals, a solid rhythm, and, my personal favourite, retro keyboard riffs to die for.
Apparently the band has had tremendous fun while they were recording “Broken Uncle’s Inn” and that’s something they never fail to deliver to the listener.
Good One.

01. Intro (Since 1972)
02. ‘Till It Bleeds
03. The Fire Will Burn Away (All The Darkness)
04. J.C. Superfuck
05. Window
06. Runnin’ Around
07. Broken Uncle’s Inn
08. Heaven With No Stars
09. Gasoline Woman
10. In Fact It’s The Worst

Federico Di Marco – Vocals, rhythm guitar
Matteo Bizzarri – Guitars, backing vocals
Filippo Cavallini – Bass, backing vocals
Lorenzo Gollini – Drums
Alessandro Duo – Hammond Organ, guitar, backing vocals
Additional Musicians:
Nicola Rossi – vocals
Diego Albini – backing vocals
Marco Vancini – harmonica (4 & 7)


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