Weighted with enough fuzz to drag even the heaviest of forces asunder – potentially without even trying to – the riffing that serves as the bedrock in “Sleepwalking” is as potent an element as we’re going to find in Velodrone’s eponymous debut album, but much as the case is with other tracks like the rousing “Believe,” “Elated” and progressive “Harvest Moon,” it’s far from the lone point of interest you’re going to discover in this virgin LP.
Velodrone are determined to deliver an unrepentant throwback that speaks to a carnal energy largely missing from the majority of new rock debuting in 2020 here, and while theirs isn’t the only album of its kind to hit record store shelves lately, it’s nonetheless an album that gets stuck inside of your head through the stickiness of “Black Cat” and “Wysiwyg” just the same. There are no rules for the road between points A and B in this release – instead, the band are seemingly left to their own devices and resort to exploiting the most vicious elements of their collective sound before we hit the halfway point in this tracklist, making most everything that follows sound like a live-or-die statement of destruction rockers like myself are going to celebrate throughout the autumn season.
The tonal presence of the guitar in “Voyeur,” “Love Race” and “Together” is out of this world-good, but I should note that this feature never completely eclipses the contribution of the other elements to the master mix. The vocal is downright ghostly in “Reality” and “Black Cat” the same, and even when the volume on the instrumentation is something fierce to be reckoned with, our leading lady never sounds even somewhat hesitant as she charges forth between the sludgy beats and into the flames set before her. The percussion tends to be a bit more understated than I would normally have preferred in a similarly grunge-inspired setting, but I can absolutely understand why Velodrone would want it to have a limited accent in the album. There are, after all, plenty of rock bands who have a thunderous drummer sitting in on the skins for them; there are fewer by leaps and bounds that don’t require the heavy-handed assault of a percussive component as their melodic trappings are already more than intense enough to compensate for any sonic discrepancies between the two.
I didn’t know about Velodrone before this new album dropped into my lap almost purely by accident just this past week, but now that I’ve got a feel for what their sound consists of, I’m very intrigued by the schematics of their play and the potential they could yield out of them if ushered into stardom by the right industry insiders. This is an LP that makes me want to hear the band in a live capacity before I judge the depth of their abilities any more than I already have, but for the time being, I think this is a good teaser for what we should expect to hear when the world returns to normal business hours.
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