Published Oct 23, 2007Ever since the Pixies essentially shook up the confines of indie or alternative, whatever, and gave the world its first official "cool reunion (lets face it, it feels like they were the ones to basically patent the idea as of late), its as if an epidemic has struck the music industry. With the recent Zeppelin hysteria causing a ruckus, its a pleasure to see a band that actually look like their old selves return for what can actually be a fruitful second lifetime. Actually, lets make that fourth lifetime, since theyve broken up three times already. The return of the Verve began with the announcement that theyd be playing some gigs together. Exciting, yes, but no one realistically expected to hear music within a couple of months, or even a year. But here we are, sitting here with a 14-minute jam session courtesy of the NME that was offered up by Mad Dick and the boys for our listening pleasure. First things first, "The Thaw Sessions demonstrates what sort of direction theyll be taking and its exciting, no its outstanding, to hear that its situated somewhere between debut single "All in the Mind and their seminal 1995 album, A Northern Soul. Fear ran high for me that theyd settle back into the AOR direction of their most successful album, 1997s Urban Hymns, but it appears they actually realise where theyre strongest and thats in the hands of guitarist Nick McCabes hypnotic wizardry, which gently weaves a dreamlike pattern filled with little flourishes of pedal brilliance. But its actually the duo of drummer Peter Salisbury and bassist Simon Jones that step up into the spotlight, carrying a heavy rhythm that not only supports the song entirely, but also delivers a pretty killer groove. As for Ashcroft? Well, you can really hear his keyboards in the mix (either that or McCabes board is all over the place), and vocally, hes back in the same frame of mind that blew our minds back when he was waxing psychedelia with songs like "A Man Called Sun or "The Sun, The Sea. Sure, its basically an improv jam session, but what makes this so noteworthy is that it will no doubt in my mind lead to something both enterprising and yes, mind-blowing.
The difficult option: Download "The Thaw Sessions" (Note: you must register for this download)
The easy option: Download "The Thaw Sessions"