Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 in Review: The “Released in the UK in 2006 but the US Release Was in 2007 So I’m Including It” Award

This award, given for being too good of an album to heed the technicality that its original release in a foreign country wasn't during the past year, goes to:

Nux Vomica
The Veils
Rough Trade

Every damn review of this album has something to say about how Finn Andrews, the man running the show in The Veils, is the son of Barry Andrews from XTC and Shriekback, and it just doesn’t matter. It’s a red herring. The strongest influence here has nothing to do with 80’s synth rock: it’s Nick Cave all the way. The single for the album, and a couple of other tracks, are bouncy, bittersweet pop. A couple of tracks are delicate piano and vocal downers that will inspire you to do little but sob quietly into a bottle of scotch. And then there are some dirty, brooding, horrific and earthy rock tunes. They start out slow, and they start out quiet, but with every. Passing. Syllable. You can hear the venom creeping into Andrews’ voice. The band starts playing up, the cymbals crash in, the keys start pounding, and Finn starts screaming with terrifying abandon and strangling his guitar within an inch of its life. What they lack in innovation, they make up for in spades with passion. That they’ve managed to balance the pop elements with their less savory moments is a testament to their craft in terms of not just writing good songs, but in composing a full album.

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