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Vanderbuyst - At the Crack of Dawn Award winner

At the Crack of Dawn
by Matt Coe at 28 September 2014, 4:39 AM

One of my favorite bands of the past 10 years, Dutch Heavy Metal/ Hard Rockers VANDERBUYST perform in a power trio format that sticks to the golden roots of the genre. Catchy riffs, equally addictive choruses, powerful, solid drumming – adhering to the 1970’s and early 80’s series of bands from Europe and America that really put their all into their craft. Every time a new album hits the streets, my body, brain, and ears become glued to every listening device possible- as they have not released a record to date that’s been less than stellar.

Onto album number four, “At the Crack of Dawn” with its 11 tracks throws a few newer dynamic elements into the mix while not forsaking the tried and true VANDERBUYST platform. Right away on the opening title song you’ll hear a slower, semi-Middle Eastern riff and equally sultry melodies from Jochem Jonkman, the almost doom groove certain to make this a future set list staple. From there the three-piece mix up gallop-oriented rockers such as “Roller-Coaster Ride” and the THIN LIZZY stomper “Light My Dynamite” to more straightforward Hard Rock numbers that veer close to American/ L.A. Sunset Strip material such as “Girl in Heat” or “Secret Dancer”.

Closer “Sweet Goodbye” has a Bluegrass, Acoustic feel that for a ballad is in line more with THE BEATLES or early VAN HALEN – the chorus very silky and soothing in that psychedelic late 60’s / early 70’s manner. And you have to love the rhythmic interplay between Jochem and Barry for “In the Dead of Night” that gives Willem a myriad of freedom to inject his exemplary, understated guitar skill set. Never overstaying their welcome, these songs stick to a meat and potatoes approach – no excess, versatile in their appeal and quickly move on to the next swinging catchy verse or chorus.

Their fourth full length in the last five years, “At the Crack of Dawn” surely won’t lose the band any followers – and hopefully will continue the band’s ascent into larger concert halls as a headliner. Another winner, folks.

4 Star Rating

1. At the Crack of Dawn
2. Roller-Coaster Ride
3. Girl In Heat
4. Catch-22
5. In the Dead of Night
6. Lost in Discotheques
7. Walking on Tightrope
8. Light My Dynamite
9. On and On
10. Secret Dancer
11. Sweet Goodbye
Jochem Jonkman – Vocals, Bass
Willem Verbuyst – Guitars
Barry van Esbroek – Drums
Record Label: Van Records


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Edited 11 June 2023

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