Wednesday, May 14
THE VEILS' NUX VOMICA was my second favorite album of 2006, and that fact alone should have sent me scurrying to hear their 2004 debut, THE RUNAWAY FOUND. For whatever reason, that didn't happen. Perhaps because that earlier LP was recorded by almost entirely different musicians. Perhaps because it just slipped my then liquor-ridden mind. Perhaps both.
Whatever the case, I have now corrected that wrong by giving THE RUNAWAY FOUND the careful listen it has so long deserved. Not surprisingly, perhaps, it's not nearly as assured and/or distinctive as NUX VOMICA. But it still warrants some time and attention today.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Veils, here's a bit o' the backstory, cribbed from my previously liquor-ridden self:
"THE VEILS are singer/songwriter FINN ANDREWS' baby, especially after he fired all of his bandmates after their 2004 debut, THE RUNAWAY FOUND. As he was barely 20 at the time, that deed no doubt seemed premature and precipitous -- the act of an emotionally unsteady enfant terrible.
Be that as it may, if the guy continues to produce thrillingly schizophrenic albums like 2006's NUX VOMICA, I say let him lay as many sacrificial heads on the chopping-block as his cold, dark heart desires.
Andrews' music has a shape-shifting, chameleon-quality to it (as does his voice, which is one that some listeners will have to grow to love). Just when you've got the record pegged as a well-executed exercise in breezy indie-pop and bright, joyous choruses ("Calliope!," "Advice for Young Mothers to Be"), the guy hauls out his hairshirt and starts going to town ("Jesus for the Jugular," "Pan"). But once that's done, he'll find the time and inclination to lighten up and do the BRUCE/E STREET BAND thing ("A Birthday Present"), or put his own stamp on the whole FRANZ FERDINAND/EDITORS/etc. trend ("One Night on Earth"). Through it all, that aforementioned voice of his rises and falls; sags and soars. At times, it's highly evocative of STARSAILOR's JAMES WALSH. But on the slow-burn-to-explosive title track, he could just as well be JEFF BUCKLEY's bitter big brother, angrily lurching his way through a DOORS/LED ZEPPELIN bender."
THE VEILS on MySPACE.
From the LP THE RUNAWAY FOUND, 2004 >>>
[MP3] [VID] "The Tide That Left and Never Came Back"
[MP3] "The Leavers Dance"
From the LP NUX VOMICA, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "One Night on Earth"
[VID] "Advice for Young Mothers to Be"