The Velveteins - Fresh Claws
Released June 6, 2014
By Graham White
The Velveteins have created ...
How do I even put this into words? The Velveteins’ latest work, Fresh Claws, goes beyond sound, a lyrical deity both bizarre and beautiful. A coasting lurid affair of the mind, tantric and divine, each track weaves the listener through a forest of melody-trees and rhythmic undergrowth. It takes no time to be completely immersed in the thick and twisting sounds, the unique and gritty vocality, and the heartbeat-increasing rises and falls that send shivers down spines. It feels like The Velveteins exist in a parallel universe where the fifties never truly ended, with organic organ and an almost rockabilly guitar that makes me want to put on a poodle dress and go to a sock-hop. Both sincere and sophisticated, a mere four tracks is not enough for my enamored ears.
The title track, Fresh Claws, pulls you in with a seductive and warming opening and captures the listener with an organ melody that grasps the heart and forces it to dance. Its evolving rhythm makes for a track that never grows dull, forging a connection to the listener, welded to their inner ears, coalescing with the cochlea. Lyrically intricate while remaining accessible, the listener is able to connect and fall in love with The Velvelteins‘ sound. Garden Sleeper would be best described as walking in a dream through waterfall doorways, as it holds a sound that is both liquid and lucid. The listener floats alongside the delay heavy guitar, falling through holes in time and space. What could be a better soundtrack for a lucid dream? Swirling and gaseous, like a water bed filled with helium, Garden Sleeper is a dreamer’s musical ideal.
West Coast Love Affair has one of the most musically enjoyable bass lines my ears have heard, walking in an old-time-y fashion that invokes nostalgia and the desire to sway back and forth. It weaves a story, trading in and out, sparring with surf guitar and a lyrically modern folktale, a narrative of confusion and love. XOXY finished off the album with a bass line built in the Australian Outback, rolling guitar and a formidable grace. It has a power to it, an emotional strength that fills the listener’s lungs, coursing through their veins like electrical signals. It is a uniquely beautiful tune, a perfect end to an album that I wish never ended.
Fresh Claws is a must listen, reminiscent of early Unicorns or Islands. The Velveteins have woven one of the most impressive albums of 2014, enjoyable from beginning to end, nostalgically fresh with a sound that defies the musical status quo.