Vintage Trouble’s “Heavy Hymnal”: A Joyous Album for Our Time
I’m delighted to share my thoughts on Vintage Trouble’s latest album, “Heavy Hymnal.” An exciting departure from their raw blues roots, this album surprised me with its uplifting and soulful tracks, reflecting the challenges and inspirations of our turbulent times.
Watch the video above for the full review
Vintage Trouble: Evolving Beyond Blues
My relationship with Vintage Trouble started many years ago with their “Bomb Shelter Sessions,” which introduced me to their raw and passionate blues sound. However, “Heavy Hymnal” is a joyous departure from their usual style, marking an evolution that reflects the world around us.
The album’s cover image sets the stage with people wearing masks, bearing the message “stop repeating history.” It’s a clear nod to the global events that have defined our era – from the pandemic to social unrest and racial injustice.
The album’s liner notes beautifully articulate the band’s intent, stating that this collection of heavy hymns comes “from the heart and provides a necessary rise in our ever Reckoning.” I was expecting a protest-driven and angst-ridden record, but instead, I discovered something entirely different and beautiful.
A Joyous Experience: Track-by-Track Impressions
1. Who I Am: A machine-gun-like vocal delivery, uplifting, and a fast soul-blues track that sets a lively tone.
2. You Already Know: Features wonderful blues guitar, very groovy, with lots of soul funk.
3. Baby, What Do You Do: An uplifting pop-soul track reminiscent of the Lighthouse Family.
4. Feeling On: A tribute to ’60s soul music, an absolutely wonderful song.
5. The Love That Once Lingered: Featuring Lady Blackbird, an outstanding track.
6. All Right, All Right: Great bass riff and a strong connection to the Lighthouse Family from the UK.
7. Holler: Would fit easily onto Paul Stanley’s Soul Station album, absolutely great.
8. Shining: Happy, positive, life-affirming, wonderful track.
9. Repeating History: Reminds me of The Isley Brothers, especially due to the superb guitar playing.
The album offers a bit less guitar than I would have liked, but it’s a minor point against the joyous experience it delivers.
A Musical Response to Our World
“Heavy Hymnal” is more than a collection of songs. It’s an album of our time, responding to the societal fury, nurturing scorching souls, and encouraging us to think before we repeat history.
The booklet comes with all the lyrics and credits, but the real treasure lies in its melodies and the overall atmosphere it creates. It’s uplifting, resonant, and bears an uncanny resemblance to bands like the Lighthouse Family, Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, and the Isley Brothers.
Conclusion: Highly Recommended
“Heavy Hymnal” is a wonderful album, truly reflective of our current times. If you’re into the bands I’ve mentioned, a fan of Vintage Trouble, or simply someone who has lost touch with them, this album comes highly recommended.
Different from what you might expect from Vintage Trouble, this album is a testament to their growth and willingness to explore new musical territories. It’s out now, and I believe it’s well worth your time. Enjoy the soulful journey that “Heavy Hymnal” offers, filled with warmth, positivity, and a touch of the blues that made Vintage Trouble a name to remember.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine