Vandenburg's Moonkings debut cd review

First things first welcome back Adrian Vandenburg.  After a 16 year career break the Dutch maestro is back doing what he does best. 

Originally making his name in the 1980's with his band Vandenburg who had hit with the song "Burning Heart" and released 3 albums before he couldn't resist the call for international superstardom from David Coverdale.
Contributing guitar to the huge 1987 album before co-writing the follow up Slip Of The Tongue before injury intervened.
He has spent the last 16 years on his other passion in life art,before the call of music returned to his life in 2011. He wrote and recorded a song called "A Number One" for his hometown football club FC Twente.

Vandenburg's Moonkings evolved from this recording and now joined by Jan Hoving on vocals,Sem Christoffel on bass and Mart Nijen on drums they set out to record an album the old fashioned way. With analogue equipment on a Neve desk from the seventies and they have made an album that sounds fresh and relevant today here in 2014.

A real live sounding cd that could have come from the seventies with a tip of the hat to Whitesnake,Led Zeppelin,Bad Company and some AC/DC riffs thrown in for good measure.
With a nod to  Adrian's mid 90's supergroup Manic Eden!!
It has riffs,acoustic interludes,Hammond organ,orchestral passages,pounding drums and female backing vocals all adding up to an exotic mix of groove laden blues hard rock that gets better and better every time I listen to it.

Vocalist Jan Hoving has a roar that is equal parts David Coverdale or Robert Plant and is equally at home with on the first video ballad "Breathing "or the quite brilliant sing along throw everything into the mix "Line Of Fire".You can imagine this song being belted out live with all of the crowd hollering it back. "Line Of Fire" is followed up by the lush orchestration of the big ballad "Out Of Reach" both showcasing Hoving's excellent vocals.

The bass of Sem Christoffel and the superb Mart Nijen on drums are the real foundation of the band with a real sense of drive that allows Hoving and Vandenburg and also the class of the songs shine through.

So what about the man himself.He is all over this cd. Starting with the urgent riff from opener (and surely show opener) " Lust And Lies ".His short and always melodic solo's are a joy to hear. His AC/DC meets Led Zeppelin stop / start riff on " Close To You " is just pure class.
" Good Thing " has a rolling riff , cowbell , female backing vocals again and leaves you with a huge grin and will be crowd pleaser during the live shows.
" Steal Away " has another bluesy stop / start riff and huge chorus and yet more cowbell and has a different solo with plenty of string bending.
" Nothing Touches " has a very AC/DC riff and then a slide solo just to show off another style he can do.

Finishing with a new interpretation of the classic Whitesnake song "Sailing Ships" with a guest appearance from Mr Coverdale himself the album ends on a high on an album that is all killer no filler.

13 tracks of classic rock that needs to be heard by the masses and hopefully is the start of a new and successful era in the career of one of the best guitarists of our generation.

Comments

  1. Don't go to see this band live. Adrian Vandenberg has totally lost "the blues" A nervous, shy unprofessional and amateuristic performance!!!

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