|Vanderbuyst - 'Flying Dutchmen' (Van Records)|
|Written by Ben Hughes|
|Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:30|
The band name and title say it all, they just have to be Dutch, right? Guitarist Willam Verbuyst, drummer Barry Van Esbroek and singer/bassist Jochem Jonkman are collectively known as Vanderbuyst. This Dutch trio deal in classic sounding hard rock. Citing their influences as the likes of Van Halen, Thin Lizzy and UFO it is no surprise then that they have recently toured with the likes of Judas Priest, Saxon and Thin Lizzy. Drawing their collective inspirations of classic '70s and '80s rock they promise to inject some fun back into rock 'n' roll. They say most bands are more concerned with 'likes' than the quality of licks, and I quite like their train of thought.
Claiming to be on a "quest to save the world from flaccid rock" it's actually quite ironic that opening song 'Frivolous Fanny' is as ludicrous as its title and easily the weakest song on this album. Opening with pinched harmonies and '80s metal tendencies it smells of denim and leather in its most generic form, it lacks originality for me, but don't despair it gets better from then on.
'Waiting In The Wings' may start with a quite metal sounding riff but it veers straight into Thin Lizzy territory and suddenly I am getting more interested. Nice riffs and cool vocals give it that certain something that makes me want to hear what else they have to offer on this album rather than reaching for the skip button.
'The Butcher's Knife' could not be any more '80s rock, that thumping drum intro and I know that riff from somewhere in the deepest corners of my record collection; it took me a while to figure it but yeah I'm sure it's a Warlock song or maybe something off the excellent 'Trick Or Treat' soundtrack.....no, it's definitely 'Fight For Rock' by Warlock. I like it actually, it would've fitted perfectly on one of my '80s Raw Power video compilations. Jonkman's vocals are powerful and with not that much of an accent he comes on mostly like a cross between Ronnie James Dio and Klaus Meine and it works.
Apart from the odd over the top guitar soloing as in 'In Dutch' they play it straight and traditional, 'Johnny Got Lucky' is a more bluesy stomp in an early Whitesnake style, even the solo here is well bluesy in fitting with the songs feel, and it's one of the best songs they offer up. 'Flying Dutchman' again is catchy, bluesy as well as quite commercial with solid riffage going on.
'Never Be Clever' is a cover of a song by the Netherlands' greatest rock 'n' roll junkie Herman Brood, a legendary musician and artist on the Dutch music scene famed for his outspoken views on sex and drugs. He committed suicide in 2001 by jumping from the roof of the Netherlands Hilton Hotel. It's an instant song with a familiar riff stolen from The Who, with a glorious anthemic chorus it's a top tune, listening to the original they have given it a good working over here, updating the sound for a new generation, good choice of cover fellas.
'Flying Dutchmen' is a lesson in nostalgia with a modern production, it will take you back to a time when white Hi-Tec trainers, stone washed stretched jeans and a cut off denim jacket were the rock warriors uniform. Hell it may even convince you to grow your hair back and get a perm such is the conviction of Vanderbuyst and their music. Even their album cover and logo screams mid '80s rock. They don't claim to be doing anything new, they will not change the world, but if you are looking for the alternative to being alternative then Vanderbuyst and their retro sound could well make you raise your fist and rock for all the right reasons. Fun in all the right places.