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Voodoo Highway | Broken Uncle’s Inn

by Alexandra Mrozowska
Staff Writer —

Italian revolution in the European scene? Who knows! Ferrara-based Voodoo Highway is one of the young, promising bands that emerged from this Mediterranean country in recent years. Surprisingly enough – what they delivers is ‘70s-oriented hard rock with a modern touch. Classic Deep Purple (MKII, especially) is the first band that comes to a listener’s mind while giving a listen to the Voodoo Highway’s first release Broken Uncle’s Inn and the impression lasts throughout the whole album.

This journey back to the ‘70s starts with “Intro (From 1972)” to be followed with energetic, fast-paced “Till It Bleeds.” The latter, in fact, sounds like a cross between Deep Purple’s “Burn” and “Highway Star.” “The Fire Will Burn Away” is, on the other hand, a bit of a nod and a wink to the early KISS with a sing-along chorus, this track may soon become a concert favorite among the Voodoo Highway audience. “J. C. Superf*ck” is kind of a reasonable compromise between modern rock sound and Purple-esque instrumentation. Voodoo Highway does not slow the pace with the following songs such as “Gasoline Woman,” “Window,” and “Running Around.” In these, the Italians go back to their roots again, exploiting the classic Purple cliché to its limits with the massive Hammond Organ sound and nifty guitar licks that sound exactly like Blackmore’s. And there is the Voodoo Highway’s singer Federico Di Marco, resembling no one else but the young Ian Gillian… The title track stands out among the rest with its Zeppelin-esque harmonica and a deep bass line, while “Heaven With No Stars” is an obligatory rock ballad based on piano and later developing into huge, sweeping orchestral crescendo. Last, but not least, is a groovy rocker “In Fact It’s The Worst,” a finale that remains Broken Uncle’s Inn’s definite highlight, finishing the album on a high note with pounding drum line and classy guitar solo.

Voodoo Highway did not reinvent the wheel with Broken Uncle’s Inn; instead, they have delivered a classy performance following in the footsteps of the likes of Deep Purple, early Whitesnake, Rainbow and Uriah Heep. The group’s idea for their debut record was ‘70s hard rock peppered with modern style, therefore making an album an enjoyable but predictable romp through the genre. What this CD also shows is latent but unrealized musical capacity and potential of the band that needs right now to develop their own, signature sound instead of an excessive use of the worn-out hard rock clichés. This is to be achieved, hopefully, with Voodoo Highway’s next record (currently in works). Still, Broken Uncle’s Inn remains an album of great musicianship and well-crafted songs… and also, an operable time machine, able to take a listener a good few decades back! There is no doubt that despite their failure in originality, the Italians deliver what’s best in the ‘70s hard rock and – what is probably the most important thing – they do it with style.

Genre: Classic Hard Rock

Matteo Bizzarri (guitar, backing vocals)
Filippo Cavallini (bass guitar, vocals, backing vocals)
Federico Di Marco (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Vincent Zairo (drums)
Alessandro Duò (organ, guitar, backing vocals)

Track List:
1. Intro (Since 1972)
2. Till It Bleeds
3. The Fire Will Burn Away
4. J.C. Superfuck
5. Window
6. Running Around
7. Broken Uncle’s Inn
8. Heaven With No Stars
9. Gasoline Woman
10. In Fact It’s The Worst

Label: Voodoo Highway


Hardrock Haven rating: 7/10