The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2016-03-22
The Veldt's first records came out in the early 90s when Cocteau Twins, The Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and A.R. Kane numbered amongst their many friends, admirers and collaborators. So, why have we never heard of these guys (also called Apollo Heights for a while)? Maybe it's because of the difference in attitude towards what became known as shoegaze between the US and the UK.
 
Whilst the UK (driven, as often happened at the time, by the media) dropped it like a sack of shit in the early 90s, the US picked it up and ran with it. And it's never really gone away there. There are 20 years' worth of bands (some great, most OK, some dreadful) that a lot of us in the UK have never heard of.
 
The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation (I'm not going to write that out again) is anything to go by The Veldt are one of the great bands. Often compared to AR Kane, they have the same sky-scraping guitars, programmed drums and strong vocals but they don't really head off down the same Can/Bitches Brew/Dub road that A.R. Kane did. There is more of a pop sensibility to The Veldt's sound, closer to the Cocteau Twins' Heaven or Las Vegas or even Thieves.
 
The EP has been described as a mixtape by the band (brothers Danny and Daniel Chavis on guitar and vocals respectively, with Hayato Nakao on bass and guitar) so let's start with the one problem that I can find. It may just be the copy that I have for review but the sound quality is not great. It distorts at even moderate volume and sometimes the drums and vocals drown out the excellent guitars. Hopefully this will be sorted out before release. 
 
Moving on, my notes for this EP pretty much say the same thing for every song - great sounds, great tune, great vocals. This could make the review either brief or repetitive. Let's go with the former and just say that this is a strong EP with a clearly defined sound and great songs. High points are Sanctified which sounds like a single, and is. Token which, with it's heavier beats, is close to Massive Attack (themselves big Cocteau Twins fans) in sound. And It's You which is the song where, for me, they get the sound levels right. And finally, the best song on here, One Day Out Of Life, which is seven minutes of cascading keyboard notes and Robin Guthrie guitars. 
 
In the late 80s/early 90s there were a few bands that seemed to come more directly from Cocteau Twins rather than the many bands that were following the noisier MBV/Spacemen 3/Mary Chain line. A.R. Kane, Lush and Kitchens of Distinction had a lighter touch with sound and with melody than a lot of their contemporaries. The Veldt were/are another of these bands. Despite the problems with the production on this EP, it is all there - heavy, swirling guitars, danceable drums, strong tunes and a strong vocal combine in what is somehow a light and airy sound. Welcome back, lads. Some of us have got some catching up to do now.

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