Single review

Virgil And The Accelerators 

And So It Begins ...

added: 1 Feb 2010 // release date: 1 Feb 2010 // label: Self Released
reviewer: Newsdesk 

Virgil And The Accelerators - And So It Begins ... - Printable version
This trio are starting out at about the same standard as bands who have been playing for years – top class Rock/Blues with a new hero guitarist and a rhythm section that has me in mind of Cream or Taste.

Before I start drooling with excitement over these kids, a few caveats: Virgil’s vocals are not yet the real deal and ... well that’s about it! He is eighteen and his vocals will develop but as a band these three are the best debutantes I have heard in years and if this release doesn’t quite reach the excitement of the band live then it is pretty damn close.

Now to the meat: from the opening drumbeats of ‘No Turning Back’ this sounds like a band who have been honing their craft for years. Virgil’s guitar is funky and Bluesy with a subtlety that belies his years and Tom plays bass like a master, holding the melody when he needs to and giving Virgil the freedom to explode with solos and riffery while Gabriel on drums has a combination of the solid numbers of a pop drummer with the explosive attack of a rocker.
The first three numbers are written by the band and they stand up well as rocking Blues numbers, showing that the band are more than just another bunch of ‘by the numbers Bluesmen’ – ‘What Am I To Do’ sounds like one of those numbers that has been in everybody’s repertoire for years but somehow manages to avoid most of the clichés. ‘Everybody’ is supremely funky in a Stevie Ray Vaughan groove and gives all the band a chance to stretch out and Virgil to show why so many people think he is the best new guitarist to hit the streets in years.
The second half of this EP is a set of classics – BB King’s ‘Everyday I Have The Blues’, Lonnie Mack’s ‘If You Have To Know’ (a personal favourite that most bands destroy) and SRV’s ‘Couldn’t Stand The Weather’ – and they are all dispatched with some real style and heart. It’s difficult to do anything new with ‘Everyday ....’ but the band give it some density and a dark, brooding intensity and Virgl’s solo is terrific. ‘If You Have To Know’ has a real lightness to it with Virgil playing acoustic and then the closer, ‘Couldn’t Stand The Weather’ showing that the band can have fun as well as they rip it to pieces and turn in a great piece of Blues.

There is a real buzz around the band at the moment and they are playing in a style that has thrown up some brilliant new bands in the last couple of years but this EP suggests that none of it is hype. They have a lot of developing to do – Virgil McMahon is the oldest at 18 and Tom has only been playing bass for a year (!) – and I am looking forward to watching them grow.

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4 stars

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