Warning: Please be advised that listening to Vintage Trouble may cause you to experience uncontrollable bouts of dancing, involuntary finger snapping and/or toe tapping and vocal adlibbing that may fluctuate between a grunt and a wail without warning. Please proceed with caution.
Imagine Otis Redding with a fuzz pedal, The Black Crowes with a punk rock drummer or James Brown with just a tad more attitude and you’ll start getting somewhere near the ballpark of L.A.’s finest soul-rockers, Vintage Trouble. With a vibe bred for rowdy juke joints and back alley speakeasys, Vintage Trouble blends Motown grooves and the Delta blues with a powerful modern backbeat and a fireball frontman. After a few singalong listens through their new NoiseTrade sampler, I had to wipe down my speakers from all the funk dripping out of them. Vintage Trouble released their debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, in the UK in 2010 and it’s set for an American release on April 24.
The first single from The Bomb Shelter Sessions is “Blues Hand Me Down,” which is also the bombastic opening track on the 4-song NoiseTrade sampler. Pounding drums, greasy electric blues riffs, danceable bass lines, frantic tambourine and ringleader Ty Taylor’s howl and scat deftly propel “Blues Hand Me Down” into a fleet-footed frenzy. (In the spirit of full disclosure, there’s a little spicy language on this track, so you may want to pre-screen it before having a living room dance party with the young ‘uns). The other three tracks on the sampler include a live recording of “Love With Me” complete with audience participation, an acoustic bluesy romp through “Nancy Lee” for Q Radio and the gospel-tinged “World’s Gonna Have To Take A Turn Around.” I love this closing track as it almost sounds like a Tom Waits song with Sam Cooke on lead vocals. Vintage Trouble plays with intensity and force but they let their songs breath and groove as well. It’s a beautiful mix and one that would seem even more fun in a live setting. Just be sure to wear your dancing shoes!
When writer Will Hodge isn’t getting on the good foot, you can find him running off at the keyboard about music, concerts and vinyl at My So-Called Soundtrack.