Vintage Trouble – 1 Hopeful Rd. (Blue Note)

Genre: Rock And Soul

Doc McGhee is a brave man. But the manager responsible for shaping the early careers of Motley Crue and Bon Jovi is no fool. He’s been there, done that and sold the T-shirt (millions of times over).

It was McGhee’s bold decision to delay the release of Vintage Trouble’s second album for as long as possible and his belief that it would take at least three years for the band to fully showcase its sparkling debut to the world.

Only time will tell whether starving the music buying public of fresh material by one of rock and roll’s most exciting prospects will pay off.

But one thing’s for certain where Vintage Trouble is concerned: expectation levels have soared to a dizzying level where their sophomore studio release is concerned. Now that 1 Hopeful Rd. has dropped is it every rock fan’s street of dreams or simply a soulless dead end?

Anyone who has seen Ty Taylor and his buddies live – possibly on their latest run of shows opening up for the mighty AC/DC across Europe – will already know the answer. They will know Vintage Trouble don’t deal in mediocrity. They’re not interested in the next best thing. Middle of the road? Not 1 Hopeful Rd.

Demand from long-term fans means some of the new songs here are already familiar live favourites. For all McGhee’s reticence, even he couldn’t deny the need to tantalise the faithful with the odd taster of the feast to come.

Bullish opener Run Like The River, the soaring soul rock of Angel City, California and If You Loved Me all featured in the band’s Wembley Stadium set last month – warming up the partisan AC/DC crowd in fine style.

But Taylor, surely one of the most evocative frontmen of the past decade, never sounds better than when he’s carefully teasing every last drop of emotion out of bluesy ballad Before The Teardrops, making grown men cry as he weaves his way sympathetically through Another Man’s Words or laying down the delicious grooves underpinning stirring set closer Soul Serenity.

It’s been a long old wait since The Bombshelter Sessions announced Vintage Trouble as serious players on the new rock scene. But it’s be SO worth it. There’s no better band on the planet right now and McGhee might just have got this one bang on. Simon Rushworth

RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Trouble Ahead