Tuesday, January 24, 2017

VOODOO SIOUX: "Grotesque Familiares"




This is a little bit different, as this album is not new. If fact, it's from 2013, so consider this one in a very occasional series of 'How did we miss this when it came out?' reviews. Voodoo Sioux are a Midlands based band who made a small splash back in the 90s when they won a Radio 1 Rock Show competition and released a frankly superb album on the back of it in 1995. That, as it goes, was that, and Voodoo Sioux vanished from my radar until a couple of months ago when YouTube threw up a song called 'Damage' that blew me away and introduced me to their second album, hastily ordered and hungrily digested upon receipt.

And that's where you come in, as I'd like to introduce you to 'Grotesque Familiares', an album that makes you sad at all the albums there could have been in the 18 year gap between it and the debut. Here's the thing, boys and girls - Voodoo Sioux are really, really good. They specialize in upbeat, crunchy tracks with distinct rhythms and a sound that is all their own. Take 'Damage', which I suggest you go and find on YouTube - it's at once a catchy, well produced track that comes over as Def Leppard but more tribal and grass roots. Standout track 'Mozart In Reverse' echoes 'Two Worlds' from the debut, and fuses epic crunch with irrepressible melody and a wee bit of fiddle. The ballad 'Indian Summer' is okay if nothing special, but Voodoo Sioux really come alive when they turn on the pace. Tracks like 'Down' and opener 'Pillow Talk' are irresistible, full of life  and energy, all polished by Nick Flaherty's unique but sweet vocals.

A band like this comes along once in a blue moon, and I thought I'd never again hear the instinctive melodies that graced the debut. 'Grotesque Familiares' is a real kick in the arse, an album that throws guitar, melody and quirkiness at the listener and then does it all over again. You probably haven't ever heard of Voodoo Sioux before, so be the first in your group to uncover one of rock's (unintentionally) bast kept secrets and join me in chasing the voodoo.

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