Vanderbuyst – The Flying Dutchmen (Van Records)

Wednesday, 27th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

I feel like I missed something here with Dutch trio Vanderbuyst. First of all, I had no idea they even existed and secondly I just found out that this is their third release as a band. I must have been asleep at the wheel to be missing such a great rock act with a stellar release of quality rock ‘n roll. So now that I have that glaring omission out of the way, let’s take a more in depth look at what Vanderbuyst are all about. Obviously they love to party and most certainly invite everyone in to have a good time, and to state the obvious, The Flying Dutchman is definitely all about having fun and getting back to the roots of classic rock.

The opening track “Frivolous Franny” stomps into life on the very first riff and as opening numbers go I found it quite rousing. The second track “Waiting in the Wings” just took my head off completely, with Thin Lizzy-inspired harmonies dominating the second half of the song. Just from those two tracks alone you can tell the musicianship in Vanderbuyst is topnotch and they really do enjoy doing what they do best. All the riffs, hooks and beats do have a very 80’s vibe, but it doesn’t make them a gimmick act with a specific retro sound. They can play it fast and loose on tracks like “Johnny Got Lucky” and “Lecherous,” allowing for a little Lemmy Kilmister attitude to set in.

The album does display some variance, so “Give Me One More Shot” is a sensitive number with an acoustic guitar opening before blossoming into one long soulful melody. The other song that I found noticeably different from the pack was “Never Be Clever” which more or less is a pop song and quite the contrast from most of the harder numbers. The final track to close out the album “Welcome to the Night” continues to stray from the peppy rock formula established earlier on, but the lyrics are filled with all the prerequisite rock metaphors to keep me completely happy.

Vanderbuyst dig good songwriting and strive to record that great sound from the 70’s and 80’s. On Flying Dutchman you will find overdubs and rhythm guitars, even twin leads, all recorded live and on analogue tape. This definitely makes for a more energetic and dynamic record and it shows throughout the eleven tracks. I must profess that now I am aware of this band, I am intrigued and ensconced to go out and check out their first two releases. I know I am in for a good time, as Flying Dutchman proves this band can make a record with a real sense of fun.

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