BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
To be released on February 4, 2022 (Dark Star Records)
Formed in Memphis in 2003, Voodoo Moonshine‘s 2005 debut album Decade of Decay garnered great interest and supposedly outsold work by far bigger bands such as Skid Row and Bon Jovi and then, inexplicably nothing since… until now.
With new singer Pedro Espada finally in place, after a few police sirens and a skewed version of the American national anthem, the Voodoo Moonshine comeback album kicks off in fine style with the ballsy heavy blues rocker “Locked And Loaded” that has all the makings of an instant classic with its catchy chorus and pitch perfect playing. “Give It To Me” follows suit in marvellous swaggering fashion, before the very Whitesnake like “Bring It Down”, and the beautiful ballad “Round And Round” with an understated and poignant Jeff Losawyer guitar solo.
So far, so brilliant. Then we have the rather forgettable funk of “Sometimes You Just Wanna” before we’re back in David Coverdale territory with the mid-tempo jam “What A Way To Go” that does have the makings of a great song but seemingly meanders indecisively between styles, disappointingly. The finger snapping, joyous, gang style rocker “Swallow My Pride” lifts the mood back up and is surely a hit waiting to happen, or at the very least a stomping live favourite. The rather sappy, saccharine ballad “Eden In Your Eyes” gives way to the rallying call of “Rise Free” that features yet another fine vocal, and the ever stylish rhythm section of Hector Acevedo on bass and Eddie Cruise on drums. That’s really where, for me, the album should have stopped. However, we have the campfire style “Y’All Come Back” that comes complete with the actual soundtrack of someone urinating before driving off after said campfire! Why just has to be the question — which also applies to the emotive but totally unnecessary acoustic reprise of “Eden In Your Eyes”.
The production is clear and efficient, and the band members – and particularly original founder member Losawyer – are flawless throughout. Singer Pedro Espada‘s voice suits the songs perfectly and reminded me of Danny Vaughan from Tyketto at times, which is of course nothing but complimentary.
So is it a triumphant return after all these years? Well, the first four tracks are simply brilliant and there are one or two other gems contained thereafter — especially “Swallow My Pride” — but ultimately , what begins with a huge bang ends with a whimper and that’s a great shame.
01. Locked And Loaded
02. Give It To Me
03. Bring It Down
04. Round And Round
05. Sometimes You Just Wanna
06. What A Way To Go
07. Swallow My Pride
08. Eden In Your Eyes
09. Rise Free
10. Y’all Come Back Soon
11. Eden In Your Eyes (Acoustic Version
Pedro Espada – vocals
Jeff Losawyer – guitar
Hector Acevedo – bass
Eddie Cruise – drums
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, January 2022
Voodoo Moonshine‘s “Bring It Down” video:
Voodoo Moonshine‘s “What A Way To Go” video:
Voodoo Moonshine‘s “Locked And Loaded” video: