Confederacy of Horsepower-Vagabond Cabaret
Back in the late 1980's to the early 1990's there were a handful of hard rock bands who went against the hairspray and make-up look. Instead they embraced a more motorcycle meets gypsy gang look that was kind of a combination of Motorhead and Guns and Roses. These were bands like Junkyard, Little Caesar, Circus of Power and Zodiac Mindwarp. As far as musical influences most of them seemed big into either AC/DC, the Cult or both. Confederacy of Horsepower seem to not only follow in the footsteps of these type of bands, but in fact they seem very proud to be playing this no-nonsense, leather-clad style of hard rock. They love the above mentioned bands so much that they cover Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction's "High priest of love" plus they have Dizzy Reed playing keyboards on the album. The main influence that stands out from start to finish on Vagabond Cabaret is the aforementioned Zodiac Mindwarp. This is evident by the low growling vocals, the by the numbers approach to the music and the cliched, sexual innuendo filled lyrics. Unfortunately they fall into the same trap as many of the bands that tried this approach twenty years ago. That is the fact that they just don't have enough fire or interesting licks to sustain this album. Plus the vocals have very little range as I had to check the track number on my stereo to see which song it was on because the vocals just seemed to be sounding the same on every song. The attitude might be there, but music-wise it's just lukewarm for the most part with a few occasional sparkles. I like the band name and was rooting for them to pull this off because I thought it could be done. However it just seems like they were hoping that image and lyrics would be enough, but unfortunately the music weighs in as being a bit too thin and predictable for my liking. I like the idea of a band wanting to add some grit to their music, but this is just a large dose of very ordinary hard rock.