· SUPER VINTAGE - WELCOME TO MOJO LAND (GYR153) ·
::T R A C K S::
01. SOUTHERN MOON RISING
FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
Awesome 3rd studio disc by this excellent blues-based hard rock band from Greece featuring 11 tracks of outstanding, dynamic, soul-powered, retro-sonic, twin guitar fueled, Southern rockin' mojo that land rock solid at the crossroads of melodic, classic rock excellence. With an abundance of strong memorable songs, top-shelf musicianship and a 1st rate sonic production that speaks the rock n' roll truth, Super Vintage have created their best/strongest disc to date in the form of "Welcome To Mojo Land."
Super Vintage features the incredible musical talents of Stavros Papadopoulos on guitar and vocals who is prolific with his strong song writing abilities that shine brightly. From the superb opening "title" track to the last amazing, deep song entitled "Light Upon My Soul" (an incredible dynamic musical composition of profound depth and maturity), the man known as Stavros Papadopoulos always produces & delivers. An awesome blues-based heavy guitar rocker who knows what time of day it is when it comes down to the riffage that matters. Stavros P. is a good musical brother of the highest order who has true love and passion for the music he creates and this also applies to his wealth of excellent musical inspirations and influences. The man is a veritable, living, breathing rock n' roll machine on a Mission to Keep the Rock alive and solidifies himself as a true riff:master of the highest order on the outstanding "Welcome To Mojo Land" disc. Super Vintage also includes the musical talents of Panagiotis Zabourlis on 2nd guitar + slide guitar mojo, Jim Moralis on bass and the ass-kickin' Lazaros "Groove Machine" Simitsis on drums. All excellent players who bring the killer Super Vintage musical mojo to life. The "Mojo Land" disc also features the awesome backing vocals of Areti Valavanopoulou (Freerock Saints) who embellishes several of the new Super Vintage songs with her incredible female rock goddess vox. For Those of You About to Rock with Super Vintage on "Mojo Land"... We Salute You.
The Super Vintage: "Welcome To Mojo Land" disc is a top-shelf, blues-based, heavy guitar rocker that is Highly recommended to fans of the previous excellent Super Vintage discs, the awesome new Freerock Saints disc and to fans of true classic, bluesy hard rock excellence. An outstanding musical display of superb rock n' roll perfection that stands tall, timeless & essential in a world that can benefit from their uplifting music. Super Vintage are righteous hard rockin' saviours who have landed down on rock solid "Mojo Land" ground and are here to save the rock n' roll day.
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01. SOUTHERN MOON RISING
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· reviews ·
After a quick one-two of albums through the retrospective release "Rock n' Roll For Your Soul" and all new "Salvation Road", Greek rock masters Super Vintage return less than a year down the line with Welcome To Mojo Land. With both of those previous discs hugely impressive, they've sure as hell set themselves a high bar to vault with album number three. However, if anything, that pressure seems to have spurred songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Stavros Papadopoulos on to greater heights, the eleven songs on WTML stunning throughout.
Not surprisingly, given they've teamed up with US hard blues rock masters Grooveyard Records, Super Vintage undoubtedly fall into that style and yet, showing their European heritage, what makes SV stand out from the crowd is the slightly commercial sheen that sits atop much of what they create. Think Skynyrd meeting Fuel For Your Soul era Jagged Edge and you'll begin to get a handle on the gloriously rich field from which this band pick their fruit. Having two superb guitarists doesn't exactly hurt either, Papadopoulos tearing out solos that barely leave the skin on your face, while Panagiotis Zabourlis hammers down the mightiest of riffs. The bass slot in the band has remained in flux, Jim Moralis the third four-string man in three albums, but hopefully he'll stick around, because the understanding he instinctively seems to have with Lazaros Simitis behind the kit, is a weapon you don't trade in lightly.
The album starts with a real sense of confidence, "Southern Moon Rising" a slow build that settles into a heartfelt, mid-paced groove, before "Delta Mud" adds an authentic Southern air, Zabourlis providing some scintillating slide guitar. The deep, rich riff which follows, is a reason for celebration, especially when Hammond organ brings another surging layer of power to the whole shebang. The pair make for an instantly engaging, yet unforced introduction, which unlike so many albums these days, allows "Welcome To Mojo Land" to grow and evolve as the songs keep coming. Therefore when "Let Me Be What I Want To Be" slams into you, Padapopoulos setting the frets afire, the effect is doubled. Following that hammer blow of rock with the grinding shuffle of "Rock n'Roll Revolution", however, is inspired, the female backing vocals from Areti Valavanopoulou an unexpected delight as Papadopoulos unveils a riff so mighty, you'll never have to wonder ever again how it would sound if George Lynch of Dokken joined Lynyrd Skynyrd!
It's quite some time since I've heard a band manage to sound so authentically steeped in the land of hard rocking blues, but still able to add a natural sounding commercial edge (possibly recent Skynyrd being the only band that really spring to mind). But with Welcome To Mojo Land, Super Vintage have arrived to lay claim to that crown. If they can keep releasing music up to the amazingly high standard displayed here, long may they reign!
Steven Reid | Sea Of Tranquility (January 2016)
Blues-inflected southern rock done to perfection, “WELCOME TO MOJO LAND” is the third CD from SUPER VINTAGE, a mature release that shows what talent and experience can do for a band. The show is run by STAVROS PAPADOPOULOS, who not only consistently displays mastery on guitar and vocals, but — just as importantly, in this case — shows superior song-writing ability. The material is diverse and tasteful. PANAGIOTIS ZABOURLIS, on second guitar, adds an important flavor, particularly on slide, while JIM MORALIS and LAZAROS "GROOVE MACHINE" SIMITSIS take care of bass and drums, respectively. ARETI VALAVANOPOULOU adds some vocals too — which have to be heard to be believed. Together, this band rocks big time, taking blues-rock and southern rock to new heights. Add to that the production team of Stavros Papadopoulos & Joe Romagnola, and this CD is destined to become a classic. If you like juicy and heartful good-time music, with virtuoso band members and thoughtful song arrangements, this one’s for you.
Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (December 2016)
Super Vintage is a Greek four-piece rock band from Kavala, a city in NE Greece on the Aegean Sea. The band was founded in 2012 under the name Hush 'N Rush and started as a 70s hard rock cover band. The frontman, singer-songwriter / guitarist and producer Stavros Papadopoulos has been writing more hard rock songs that he records in his Free Rock Recording Studio. The other band members are Panagiotis Zabourlis (guitar), Lazaros Simitsis (drums, percussion) and (originally) Panos Karathanasis (bass). In 2014, Giorgos Filopelou replaces bassist Karathanasis and Jim Moralis taking the 2016 honors true.
In 2013, Hush 'N Rush recorded their first songs on "Kick Over The Traces" (2013), "Dogs' N Vultures" (2014), "Tales Never Told" (2014) and "Welcome To The Slum" (2014). In 2015, the band signed a contract with the US label Grooveyard Records and they changed their name to Super Vintage. A new label, a new name and with it, we find two new albums: "Rock 'N Roll For Your Soul" (2015) (a Hush' N Rush compilation album) and "Salvation Road" (2015) (their excellent debut album for Grooveyard Records).
Their third album 'Welcome To Mojo Land"  was recorded with Jim Moralis drums. It is influenced by blues-based classic rock albums, with Stravos Papoudopoulos, as singer-songwriter and producer did most of the work. With two super guitarists like Stravos Papoudopoulos and Panagiotis Zabourlis, this is a treat for hard rock lovers.
The album opens with the gospel-tinged "Southern Moon Rising" which ensures a quiet built-up groove, followed by "Delta Mud" which makes Zabourlis slide on the right Southern atmosphere. "Kiss Your Bad Feelings Goodbye" is a strong rocker and on the ballad "Still Alive" we find the first peaceful interlude. With "Let Me Be What I Want To Be" SV put the locks again wide open and you will be blown away. The following "Rock 'N Roll Revolution" is a serious hard rocker with Areti Valavanopoulou as a backing singer. The (almost) title song "Mojo Land" is another slide track and "River of Love" is an acoustic iinspired wild romance. SV closes with "Light Upon My Soul" a deep and outstanding ballad that literally shows us a different versatile side to Papoudopoulos's vast musical talent.
"Welcome To Mojo Land" is an outspoken hard rock album that contains all the excellent hard rock qualities of Super Vintage. Those of you who are acquainted for the first time to this great Greek band will be more than surprised!
Eric Schuurmans / Rootstime-Belgium (January 2016)
One of last year's surprises, SUPER VINTAGE, are back with a brand new album titled "Welcome To Mojo Land". These guys, formerly known as Hush ‘N Rush recorded various albums of heavy blues / classic rock stuff under this name. Then, after being signed by Grooveyard Records they decided to switch to Super Vintage and turn less blues / more rock.
And indeed, "Welcome To Mojo Land" as happened with their great album last year, Super Vintage delivers an explosive blend of dynamic Classic hard rock mojo, guitar-fueled, and heavy blues / groove based, that lands world-class and is all about keeping the true Rock alive. The first thing that surprises me is the musicians origins; all are Greek including Stavros Papadopoulos on guitar & vocals, Panagiotis Zabourlis on guitar, Lazaros Simitsis on drums and recent bass player Jim Moralis. But honestly, they sound like a pure English-born quartet.
Tracks like 'Southern Moon Rising' sport almost melodic rock verses, 'Son of Pain' bring to mind Badlands, while 'Kiss Your Bad Feelings Goodbye' is catchy and melodic. For a funky hard rock punch go to 'Let Me Be What I Want to Be', lots of melody in 'Living Like a Gypsy' then 'Rock 'n' Roll Revolution' rocks with a superb hard rock groove (great guitar solo here).
The band delivers a very good, atmospheric midtempo on 'River of Love' (another highlight), a superb bluesy ballad in 'Still Alive' complete with vintage keyboards and really fine vocal arrangements, and a great Coverdale-esque acoustically-filled in closer 'Light Upon My Soul'.
As we stated on occasion of the previous album review, many will be surprised by Super Vintage's quality if "Welcome To Mojo Land" is your first approach to them. This is a terrific combo delivering first class hard rock / melodic classic rock with more blood and authenticity than many 'major' bands in the current scene.
Production is excellent and the musicianship second to none. If you enjoyed Bandlands in the past and the recent Glenn Hughes, Red Dragon Cartel, and why not, The Winery Dogs albums, you need to check Super Vintage's "Welcome To Mojo Land". What a great way to end the year with this superb, timeless collection of classic rock / hard tunes. HIGHLY Recommended.
Rock City Greece (December 2016)
Step by step, Super Vintage have ticked all the boxes in the way of rock. They have found their sound, they make it sound as a whole with no cracks. They have published several albums, and you can feel their continuous improvement. They have signed with a North American label, Grooveyard Records, a company that push hard in order to keep R’n’R alive. If there’s anything missing in Super Vintage’s way, it is that they shouldn’t be Greece’s best kept secret anymore, that they should become a well-known top rock band. After their previous album named “Salvation Road”, these four guys’ new album is the sublimation of their trademark sound, improving the weaknesses of the previous effort as well as adding some great touches to it. Super Vintage have found the perfect balance between their rough sound with harsh vocals and a new colourful palette: soul choirs, some keyboards, pop-rock melodies that give the overall sound a more modern and lighter sound.
“Southern Moon Rising” gives a quick taste of all the magnificence we are about to listen, “Kiss Your Bad Feelings Goodbye” is a fresh tune that could have been penned by any top band we adore. “Rock N' Roll Revolution” is a colourful song where the choirs elevate the result several steps up. Closing the album, “Light Upon My Soul” reminds us that, even when they play unplugged, these guys know how to write a great song. In each and every song (conventional, good or great), one can easily identify the characteristics that make them so easily identifiable. Great, never-ending solos, a warm and sometimes deafening sustain, lyrics that show their love towards music in songs like “Let Me Be What I Want To Be”, a tune that does not demand understanding but just tolerance towards those who decided that, no matter how hard the road is, they want to rock and roll. Against all odds, Super Vintage continue their way, and they have released their best album yet. What is there left to do for them? They need to go out there, play live, make people remember their name. They have to spread the word of "Mojo Land" everywhere. From then on, it is our duty to do the rest.
Julen Figueras / Rock Angels - Spain (December 2016)
The blues infused classic rock band Super Vintage from Kavala City are back with their latest release, 'Welcome To Mojo Land'. Band members include Stavros Papadopoulos (vocals & guitar), Panagiotis Zabourlis (guitar), Jim Moralis (bass) and Lazaros Simitsis (drums). On a purely musical level, 'Welcome To Mojo Land' is a strong recording. It is blues influenced classic rock and a band at its best. The chemistry going on between the musicians, the musicianship itself, the guitar playing, the mix, the songs all equate to premium blend rock n' roll. This album has it all: Ear to ear grinning rock stomping boogies, beautiful ballads, creeping sinister sounding riffs, introspection, solid vocals & scorching guitar work. Highlights include "Southern Moon Rising", "Son Of Pain", "Still Alive", "Rock 'N' Roll Revolution" and "River Of Love". Everything just seems to come together here to create that sound that has gained them so many fans already and with this album possibly even more. All in all, 'Welcome To Mojo Land' is a solid rock album that takes you back to a time when musicians knew how to play and followed their muse instead of the dictates of desperate record companies. 'Welcome To Mojo Land' by Super Vintage honors the classic rock tradition with reverence, respect and the realisation that this music’s still happening, right now. Highly Recommended.
Tony Sison / The Dedicated Rocker Society (December 2016)
Stavros Papadopoulos leads Greek rockers Super Vintage into their third full length disc, again it's full of bluesy, soul-driven, twin-guitar toting hard rock that bridges the gap between Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd. With a keen ear to the 70's (they started as a covers band) Stavros plays the leads and takes the mic aided by Panagiotis Zabourlis on second guitars and the incredible slide playing. Together they play some mean riffs and great harmonies that wouldn't sound out of place on a Blackberry Smoke album especially the sunshine sounds of "Kiss Your Bad Feelings Goodbye" and the dramatic "Still Alive".
In the engine room Jim Moralis (bass) and Lazaros Simitis (drums) supply the groove, rich and syrupy like Manuka honey while Stavros' Sammy Hagaresque vocals are bolstered by the soulful backing vocals of Areti Valavanpoulou. Welcome To Mojo Land is a very good album full of searing guitar heroism, whiskey hued vocals, it's heavy in places (Rock N Roll Revolution), funky in others (Let Me Be What I Want To Be) but mostly it's pure rock and roll with a Southern edge and plentiful guitar solos a very good album harking to the glory days of American hard rock. 8/10
Matt Bladen / Musipedia-UK (December 2016)
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