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Four words for The Velveteins: I like your style. From first impressions come the most poignant references we use to gauge whether we enjoy something, and I could tell almost immediately that this work was going to agree with me.
The first track, “XOXY” began and slowly grabbed my ear with its enticing crescendo of sound, that signature bass line reminiscent of Kings Of Leon. And all this is going on while I examine the art selection for their album Fresh Claws. The moment of joy sealed over the little girl’s face is priceless in that it showcases that fleeting elation that compels her to look backward as she swings blindly forward without a care. I don’t know how much this speaks about Fresh Claws as a whole, but it is sensational imagery that makes my mind whir. Mission accomplished if you ask me.
“Garden Sleeper” just might take you to a literal imagining of the title. I see a man one with the Earth, wandering through the fertile soils and collapsing blissfully into the foliage of some beautiful botany. Can’t say I paid much attention to the lyrics since that’s usually my secondary focus, but I’d encourage you to follow the same practice at least in this sense. Songs are sometimes best when left to interpretation. The guitars are smooth and dreamy and the drums just do their job, standing as background support and heavy on wash.
“West Coast Love Affair” could be a boppier number, but the swaying performance keeps it at a mild head nod at best. The drums are slightly sloppy, but it makes for an even easier glide.
Some might call it blues on drugs and I can’t completely disagree. The Velveteins take standard rock and blues elements then mix them with modern mystique, add a little sedative and recline while the brew takes shape. Fresh Claws will sink into your skin.
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