Vintage Trouble: Chapter II – EP II Review

At the end of February, Vintage Trouble unveiled a lyric video for a song we hadn’t heard before—an intriguing move, seeing as how the quartet released a five-track EP just last November. The song, titled “Don’t Stop Forever,” is solidly in the vein of last fall’s EP, a pop-leaning groove that deviates from the soul-rooted style of music that Vintage Trouble banked on for most of their releases since forming in Southern California in 2010. Shortly thereafter, Blues Rock Review learned of the band’s plan to release its next EP, titled Chapter II – EP II, another collection of five new tracks (and five live tracks added at the end) that reinforces the musical direction Vintage Trouble are now embracing.

As guitarist Nalle Colt explained in an interview last year, Vintage Trouble’s updated sound has more to do with the band’s exposure to other groups while touring than a drive to create music differently from how they did before. “We’ve been on tour for the last seven years, and when you tour in Europe a lot of the shows are festivals where you see a lot of different bands, different directions. We had a whole bag of influences on our backs from touring so much,” Colt told Blues Rock Review. As with Chapter II – EP I, those influences are clear on EP II in the sound and feel of the songs. The social responsibility theme in EP opener “Everyone is Everyone” is reminiscent of EP I’s “The Battle’s End,” while EP II’s ballad “How It Is” is more in line with EP I’s “My Whole World Stopped Without You.” EP II brings more ballads to the table than EP I, soulful tracks that benefit from lead singer Ty Taylor’s harmonies and cited pop influences (like Bruno Mars or The Weeknd) in their melodic progression. The five live tracks at the end of the EP bring together the old and the new, with “So Sorry” from EP II brought to life onstage alongside the band’s 2017 single “Knock Me Out” and a rewarding cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” closing out the EP.

All in all, Chapter II – EP II makes sense as a sequel to EP I: Vintage Trouble’s intentions behind the new crops of songs are similar on each EP, with discovery and evolution working hand in hand in the band’s favor. The pacing is slower on EP II due to the emphasis on ballads, but the live tracks added to the EP help offset the lack of a track like EP I’s upbeat “Can’t Stop Rolling” and reminds listeners that hearing Vintage Trouble bring their music to live audiences is half the fun of this particular high-energy group. At the end of Blues Rock Review’s review of EP I, we questioned what Vintage Trouble’s new direction meant for their music in the years ahead. It’s still early—but so far, so good.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Everyone is Everyone
– How It Is

The Big Hit

– Everyone is Everyone

By Meghan Roos

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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