Published Apr 20, 2015For Edmonton act the Velveteins, naming their record A Hot Second With The Velveteins and heading to Nashville to record it was a bold move. Not to say it's uncharacteristic of them — and neither was having Lincoln Parish, formerly of Cage the Elephant, on producer duties — but it's not exactly a move for the ill-prepared.
Fortunately, it paid off. The record comes across like a collision of the Kinks and the Libertines, complete with the pervasive melancholy that characterized both those bands' best work. It's a cohesive affair that dives back and forth between rollicking garage and moody surf, even going as far as including sounds of waves on "Beach Reprise." There's some inspired guitar work throughout: "Hanging from the Ceiling" revolves around a spindling guitar line that erupts into a massive classic rock-alluding coda with guitar solos and fade-outs galore, while opening track "Monica Louise" shows off the band's songwriting chops by melding pop classicism with a rough edge.
The sound of A Hot Second With The Velveteins is akin to a faded snapshot: not exactly lo-fi, but it's not exactly scrubbed clean, either, lead singer/guitarist Spencer Morphy's vocals in particular. He has a Pete Doherty-esque yelp to him, and his raucous delivery works best when he's surrounded by a backdrop that can support it. "Sunhat" is an upbeat strut with Morphy doing his best sneer, injecting some menace into the otherwise sunny tune. It makes for an interesting collection of music that can only hint at better things for this group. (Wiener Records)