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Released August 31/18 (Nuclear Blast)

Gateways is the third album from Iceland's The Vintage Caravan (the fourth including an initial self-released album when the main members were 15 years old!). This reviewer is not familiar with the band's previous releases, but the scuttlebutt is that the quality of the releases may be deteriorating as they go forward.

Gateways is an 11 song collection that is heavily influenced by 1970s rock and the 90s retro-rock style (along the lines of Lenny Kravitz). The production has a fuzzy quality to it, but it is likely that that is intentional, as it adds greatly to the nostalgic feel of the music. The initial seven tracks are serviceable enough rock, carefully composed and played with talent and enthusiasm. However, the final four tracks find the band bitten by the 70s bug a bit too much, and the early 70s at that! It is a little too mellow for this reviewer's tastes.

The best tracks on the album are probably "Set Your Sights" and "Reflections", if you want to check out what these guys are all about. While the late 70s saw some of the best hard rock ever produced, the early-mid 70s were a patchwork of good and bad (lots of bad), and The Vintage Caravan unfortunately took their influences from the wrong part of the decade.


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