In their new album, titled Entropy is the Mainline to God, familiar faces The Veldt have one goal above all else – rebelling against the mainstream model in their genre as it’s been shaped by the rock n’ roll establishment – and from where I sit, they couldn’t have done a much better job of hitting the mark here. From the avant-gardism of “Walk With the Spirits” to the startlingly stoic depth of “Electric Revolution,” “Cold Outside,” and “Red Flagz,” The Veldt is a melodic force to be reckoned with offering some serious angst to their poetic sensibilities, which makes for quite the irresistible cocktail if you’re as regular a listener as I am.
Harmonies shape the tone of “Sweeter,” “Check Out Your Mind,” and “Get Away (Interpolation)” more than the lyrics do, but there isn’t a single situation presented to us in Entropy is the Mainline to God in which this band is giving us halfhearted content in either the lyrics or the music. Instrumentally speaking, everything in this LP is pretty slick and multilayered as to be expressive to the same degree that the verses are, and that simply isn’t something I can say for some of the mainstream chart-toppers I’ve listened to in the last couple of months.
There’s a lot of narrative focus throughout this album, but none of the climaxes here sound verse-centric at all. It’s always a collective effort in songs like the instrumentally laid-back “Slave Ship Serenade” and “Soul Power,” with The Veldt acting only as directors on a set full of talented actors ready to say something important before the audience.
Without the collaborative energy behind all of this material, I don’t know that it would sound quite as full-bodied, and given the minimalist/postmodern trend we’ve experienced throughout the underground lately, this could explain why Entropy is the Mainline to God sounds like the gem it does right now.
The players in this LP are putting in some incredible enthusiasm, starting with the natural tonal presence of The Veldt in the tracks “Check Out Your Mind,” “New Blood,” “Get Away (Interpolation),” and the profound “Requiem for Emmett Till,” to such an extent where it’s hard for any serious alternative rock fan to turn away from the speakers as full-color harmonies inevitably blossom. If you’ve been listening to their work for a long time now, you knew what to expect coming into this LP, but even loyal fans might be surprised by the capacity for evolution found inside this tracklist.
Rock buffs interested in something different from an act as concerned with respecting core aesthetics as they are expanding on the framework of the old school to forge a more diverse sonic future can’t go wrong with Entropy is the Mainline to God and The Veldt this February, and my gut tells me that other critics are likely to agree. The Veldt doesn’t allow for poeticisms to devolve into impossible metaphors, and as a band, they constantly press the paramount importance of harmony over emphasizing a rigid beat – features that have made them one of the more influential duos to ever come out of this scene.
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