The Velveteen Band
The Velveteen Band
From that strange and magical intersection at which the fuzz of rabbits and the fuzz of guitars congregate, comes The Velveteen Band. The growing group of musical misfits has been making Ventura slightly stranger for the past couple of years — and like water and food after midnight, it’s perfect gremlin fuel for those times when you just need to get weird. The tracks are being released on actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s hitRECord Internet imprint. The idea behind that particular enterprise fits perfectly with The Velveteen Band’s group aesthetic: Collaborate with like-minded individuals to create all manner of books, films and records. They’ll also be the first band ever to upload an entire album, and all the instrumental tracks that made it that album, to the crowd-creative platform, encouraging people to remix and re-use their music in any way imaginable. As for those songs waiting for infinite mutation, they’re equal parts electronica, carnival ambiance, rock and ska. Titles such as “In the West Is a Robot” and “An Old Knives’ Tale” jockey for psychic position alongside “Too Much Whiskey,” which, putting it mildly, is to say that there are more changes on this record than any given roll of a 20-sided dice. More Gogol Bordello than Green Jello, it’s a credit to the group’s creativity that it doesn’t fall into the trap of being self-reflexively wacky, something that can be a real turnoff, even in small doses. The Velveteen Band possesses a rare blend of silliness and serious intent that’s pulled off intensely well here.
— David Cotner
Available at CDBaby, iTunes and SoundCloud, from thevelveteenband.com/music.
Six Pack of Doom
With just four songs, the debut EP from Ventura metal quartet Six Pack of Doom is a brutally concise exploration of the genre that connects like a right hook to the jaw. Featuring Joel Perkins’ soaring vocals and ex-Cessation of Life members Marty Mostad on guitar, Justin Harrison on bass and Mike Jacobs on drums, Angels Fall is everything a band wants its first record to be: clean, tight and potent. Here, protest, once the domain of folk and later punk (before it got lost in satire), fits perfectly in the chamber of a more suitable weapon: metal. Topics like the new world order, religious extremism, American apathy, the prison industrial complex, oil dependence and free energy practically demand headbanging — and the velocity with which they are delivered on Angels Fall, could send the power elite to their secret bunkers at warp speed. In a time when outrage is as necessary as escape, when resistance is a bong hit at bedtime, Angels Fall is the dude at the party who recites the constitution with booze on his breath. As much a soundtrack for a backyard rager as it is potential theme music for an Infowars’ episode, this record is, more importantly, a passionate, honest expression of heavy metal music performed with reverence and might. In other words; the party’s not quite over.
— Michel Miller
Available at CDBaby.com. For more information, visit facebook.com/sixpackofdoom.