Monday, November 12, 2012

Vanderbuyst-The Flying Dutchmen

Ván Records

As I listen to the third album from Dutch hard rock/heavy metal band Vanderbuyst (who are new to these ears even if they have been around for awhile now) it's the classic Ramone's song "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" that comes to mind. As Joey and company put it so perfectly back in 1980: "We need change, we need it fast/Before rock's just part of the past/'Cause lately it all sounds the same to me". From the way "The Flying Dutchman"  plays out it sure does seem as if this trio heard that call and knew just what was needed in order to put the "rock" back in hard rock. While they are not alone in the quest to play old-fashioned rock/hard rock (these days there are bands, a dime a dozen, that are lining up to answer the call to play stripped-down rock/heavy metal which is both good and bad one could argue) few bands can muster the charm of Vanderbuyst. How did they get to that point though? Well, it used to be that the Netherlands was known for it's "good times" that could be found everywhere including the famed Red Light District. From the sounds of it that just isn't the case anymore. The band's promo makes mention of an area that has become overflowing with "cesspools of human trafficking" and where "One by one, the coffee shops are denying access to anyone who is not registered in the government’s database as a card-carrying stoner.". So, with that kind of meltdown happening all around you what do you do? How does anyone react to seeing their hometown dying especially when your young and the good times just can't be found that easily anymore? Well, if you are vocalist/bassist Jochem Jonkman, guitarist Willem Verbuyst and drummer Barrand then you buckle down, plug in and as MC5 put it "kick out the jams"! This trio may have named their 3rd album after a ghost ship that was doomed to sail the oceans forever, but there is nothing at all doomed about this group. The names might sound all too familiar (Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, etc.) as far as influences go, but when the pieces all fit (and the end result is equal parts hard rock mayhem and boogie down rock riffs) this well who really cares where it all came from originally? Without a doubt some will take all of this to be "retro" rock and that would be a shame as there is nothing retro about this band. The sound is admittedly not that modern (as rock and roll just doesn't sound this good in these times), but it is pure in it's conviction and, like mountain spring water, it is all natural with no artificial ingredients. While I opened with the Ramones I close with AC/DC. Remember this folks "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" so be a part of the solution and take action by supporting bands like Vanderbuyst before it really does become just a part of our past.

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