It’s no big secret that rock and roll can be a heck of a lot of fun, and ‘Year Of The Dragon’ – a lusty, hot blast of musical goodness from American band Von Voigt is proof positive of that. Channeling influences from outfits like Queen, Van Halen, and AC/DC (all bands that knew a thing or two about having fun in their prime), this 4-piece has put together a high-kicking, hair-tossing, hip-shaking album that is tailor-made for a party soundtrack.
These guys most certainly know how to play: the vocals are terrific, the riffs are big, the drums are heavy, and there’s a whole lot of catchy melodies and choruses. Also, (and don’t take my word for it: trust the band’s bio) there’s a guitarist who “handles his six-string mistress like it’s the last New Years Eve before a South-Beach apocalypse”. Well, now… Suddenly, I have a strong urge to see this band live!
Yep, there’s a whole lot to love here, starting off with the opening track ‘Gimme That Shock’ – a pure high-energy powder-keg of a tune, all swagger and riffs and unadulterated fun. It’s followed by the excellent rock-duet ‘(You’re An) Animal’: a tasty and hellaciously hooky romp of a track.
Other standouts in the tracklist include ‘Bad Little Boy’, which starts out as a piano tune with some grand vocals, before the band rips out the guitars and drums and rev things up; and the blistering hot, glam-fabulousness of title track ‘Year Of The Dragon’ – this tune is bedazzled with some awesome guitar work, and the track just might be my favourite on the album.
‘Get It While It’s Hot’ is another keeper: saucy, shiny and sparkly – sort of like a David Lee Roth 80s leotard; while the space-traveling rock and roll ride ‘Star Shaker’ is pretty damn irresistible with its cowbell, and fun-loving swagger.
Von Voigt changes gears a bit on ‘Dear Jupiter’ (another fave of mine), opening the track with some piano and a show-tune vibe that shows off frontman Tommy Von Voigt’s vocal skills. His voice is lovely here, and I also LOVE the guitar work on this tune: it’s top-notch, passionate stuff.
If you’re looking for sanitized perfection and deep introspection, this album will leave you wanting, but if you’re looking for the kind of fun you can get up to in spandex pants and big hair, while wielding a microphone, drumsticks, or the electric instrument of your choice, then this album is a real treat. Get it, crank it, love it.
- Gimme That Shock
- (You’re An) Animal
- Another Love Song
- Bad Little Boy
- Two Hearts
- Year Of The Dragon
- Get It While It’s Hot
- Star Shaker
- Dear Jupiter
- Shame On The Radio
- Tommy Von Voigt: vocals, piano
- Nicolas Ruibal: guitars
- Ryo “Boss” Tanaka: drums
- Enrique Mancia: bass