Another new act, or at least new to me, to review with South Louisiana rockers Vermilion Whiskey and the EP ‘Spirit of Tradition’, and as you might expect, the influences of the American South are there in spades. ‘Road King’ is a chugging tale of loud music, youthful rebellion, and unsurprisingly, the joys and pains of living the modern day outlaw life of a band on the road. The sour smell of spilt beer and sweaty club cellars is practically woven into every note and lyric. ‘The Past is Dead’ ups the stoner quotient, with a fair old nod to Down with the loose, flowing riffs and downbeat tone of both words and music.
The sound gets sludgier yet with ‘Come Find Me’ and ‘Monolith’, but never too extreme, far more Lynyrd Skynyrd than Crowbar, but nevertheless with some pretty good hooks to get feet tapping after a few brewskis, whilst ‘One Night’ veers towards the bluesier end of the rock spectrum. The whole is rounded off with ‘Loaded Up’, boozy vocals howling over the top of some hefty down tuned riffs and a solid stamper of a guitar solo playing the track out. Overall, the band have a rough and ready sound that should be easily reproduced live, and whilst the show would undoubtedly have me appreciatively nodding along, there is not yet a unique defined sound or style to Vermilion Whiskey to elevate it above the many other similarly influenced bands currently playing and recording.
Vermilion Whiskey ride a line right down the middle between hard Southern Rock and the Stoner sounds of NOLA; it would be very easy to imagine them playing to a classic rock audience wearing Stetsons and and cowboy boots, rushing off stage, charging down the road to a metal club and donning cargo shorts and Pantera shirts to entertain the unsuspecting audience, and there’s nothing wrong with that. One of my favourite shows of 2016 was a double bill of Honky and Desert Storm; indeed, if those two bands had indulged in a bourbon and bong fuelled orgy, Vermilion Whiskey could well be the bastard offspring of that very encounter.