For our readers who have never been involved in the music biz, I'm going to pull the curtain back just a tiny bit. Typically, when albums are sent out to press or radio, a one-sheet is included with a little background information on the band and their album. Sometimes people go a little overboard, piecing together dozens of pages worth of photos, press and other nonsense that still won't get their album listened to. I typically throw them away without reading more than a sentence or two.
While skimming through the sheet included with The Velocet, a couple of little tidbits did catch my eye. The band includes guitarist Kris Ricat (who trained at Julliard), drummer Joe Propatier (touring drummer for Damon Albarn) and bassist Aron Watman (touring member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre). Hot damn!
These guys are the muscle behind frontman Michael Davison, the voice behind Brooklyn's The Velocet. At first listen, A Quick And Dirty Guide To War has overtones of late '80s and early '90s alternative (remember back when alt radio kicked ass?) with a fresh coating of post punk. While I enjoyed the opener, "Chinatown," it was the hand-clap filled "O'Concertina" that sucked me in. It feels like a classic track from The Cars, which in my opinion is a damn good thing. With a hook this solid I will be placing this on my list of best tracks of the summer.
The former military rat has a little angst in him, which can be felt on the rockin' "Alone In Cologne" and "Black Agenda." What I like about this album is that it never falls into a rut, making it quite tough to classify. "Coronation" is a well-produced, harmony filled, epic cut that shows off this band's chops. This could very well be the strongest track on the album, and I can only imagine how kickass it must be live.
The world of post punk is crammed with far too many mediocre bands, so hopefully The Velocet won't get lost in the mucky muck. This is a great release from a group that has somehow remained off my radar up until now.