Carousel Vertigo’s have an innate understanding of the history of rock’s past and a vision of its future, is convincing and current enough to have attracted some stellar accomplices on Revenge of Rock and Roll – not least among them Garry Tallent, long-serving bass player with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, who happily guested for ‘a bottle of Bourgogne’ on one of the album’s ten tracks.,
The nucleus of the band, Gibson Guitars-endorsed Parisian Vincent Martinez and New Jersey son Jansen Press, formed Carousel Vertigo purely out of a shared love of the classic rock music they both revelled and could play so well.
Although each comes from a different culture and country, they were instantly united by the other’s ability to express that music in different but complementary ways – and a dual-lead guitar partnership of virtuosity and instinct was born.
The album kicks off with 'No More Hesitatin'’ a bluesy number that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The gravelly vocals of Martinez fit well with the chunky bass line and vibrant riffs. Hammond Organ tones provide a bluesy backdrop mixing with 70’s rock.
'Honey Do' has a great vibe that makes you want to move your feet, with its old fashioned rock and roll swagger, this is boogie woogie mixed with Chuck Berry but is bound to put a huge smile on your face with its cheeky lyrics.
'Revenge of Rock and Roll' reminds me a bit of the Quireboys in tone and again is sure to get your toes tapping. Here we get horns and piano which really add to the feel of this fast paced track. The riffs come fast and furious providing great punctuation to the rest of the track.
Starting with a massive guitar hook that draws you in 'Jackie Run Run' is a multi layered, complex track, immense drumming, more of the sonorous, gravelly vocals combine effortlessly with the piercing riffs. By now your feet will firmly be in motion and the smile on your face should be very much in evidence.
'Hideaway' proves that this is a band that can manage just about anything. This is a smooth ballad, rich in emotion, effortless playing from the fluid riffs that convey even more feeling. Steeped in blues, the addition of the organ provides a great addition to this track. However, this is a track which I feel demands to be heard live, you can visualise the crowd singing along, it gets the hairs on my neck standing on end just thinking about it.
Picking up the tempo 'Hard Luck Lover' has everything from energetic drums, driving bass line and shimmering riffs. When all this is combined with the deep vocals to form a very pleasing track. The middle section where everything gets stripped back and you can hear the timbre of the vocals gave me goose bumps.
'Get It On' has a machine gun rattle from the drums and bass line, furious and moving along with enormous energy the piercing riffs are delightful. “You’re one in a million but I want more, never should have let you under my skin” growls Martinez. Well, Alright is full of blues tones, swagger and grit. It again made me think of The Quireboys with its cheeky lyrics that would be sure to get a party started.
Slower to build up 'Don’t take It To Heart' has a driving bass line that combines so well with the vocals, which show an graceful range, this brought to mind Chris Cornell with the slight gravel edge that he perfected so well. Heartbreaking riffs make this a sublime track that I have played over and over again. This was written as a hometown point of view on the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.
'I May, I Might' is the track to close this album. Opening with the organ this track morphs into a full on rock track with groove and guts showing the versatility of this band.
This is an album which deserves to have mass appeal. Carousel Vertigo seem to be able to turn their hand and instruments to anything that is required of them. The blues tracks are saturated with emotion, the rock tracks have a harder edge and enormous riffs and the ballads make you recall every person you ever fell in love with. This is a great album.
Review by Samantha Lamb
Revenge of Rock 'n' Roll is out now on Molano Music