“With a generous helping of Mogwai-like riffs, the album quickly opens up and swims all around you, making you dizzy with expectation”
If you ever do a Google search on these guys, don’t get confused by what you might find – they are not the Italian eurodance project. Far from it, in fact.Slowly burning from the get-go with lovely soothing – almost medieval – vocals over kooky guitar, RED VELVET very soon hit it big with the swirling drug trip Prayer For The Dead, Prayer For You. The lone, brooding acoustics are thrust out of the way as the big, brash guitar makes way for the crunching rock to come.From the album’s artwork, you’d expect this album to be intrinsically weird and the band do not disappoint. With a generous helping of Mogwai-like riffs, the album quickly opens up and swims all around you, making you dizzy with expectation.Swaying gently onward, the duo of Chalmin and Recchia swoop into Poison; an angst-driven mix of charming vocals that implodes on itself as the track gets madder. The great samples stuffed behind desperately low guitar make it all the more distressing as Chalmin screams of the misfortune of being one’s very own poison.The really quite operatic Stay & Stare then feeds in perfectly, floating about you in a great mist before finally blasting off in a climax of screaming guitar and booming drums, finally culminating with the kind of hard poignancy normally saved for acts like Biffy Clyro.Blood On The White Carpet – a beautiful little number with bizarre lyrics generously layered over the top – slows things right down again to that medieval feel, reminding you just how frustrating blood or ribena on your carpet can be. CHALMIN takes great pleasure in playing with you ever so slightly, threatening to build into a big crescendo before whipping the rug (or, ahem, white carpet) from under you and starting all over again as if nothing ever happened.The careful pound of Lab Rat stirs you gently before awaking you with a cold, metal-induced rush as CHALMIN invariably denies any allegations of his being a rat himself.The cooling of Waste Of Time flows over you like an ocean breeze, as the record takes a turn with the relaxing effects of Crystal Ball. This turn doesn’t last long though with the boys suddenly cranking it up with Wake Up and the raucous title track.After the quick furore of My Very Own Stranger, they finally land on the experimental Purple Diamond; a whooshing melee of dance, rock and robotics.Although a few dull points throughout, it’s generally quite an exciting offering from the twosome. With each misjudged Bird Song, there is a cracking Stay & Stare. With every moment that they take themselves a little too seriously, there is a flailing crash of instruments.On initial listening – and really only the first half – you could be forgiven if you thought you were party to a little deja-vu. With heavy influences from such heavyweights as BIFFY CLYRO and MOGWAI, the worry very quickly surfaces that these guys could be just another tagger-on, but any doubt is promptly dashed. The boys take this baby and mould themselves nicely in such a way that you realise that “no, I haven’t heard these lads before, after all” and begin to thoroughly enjoy the ride.Despite being a journey of peaks and troughs, Red Velvet do just enough to keep your mouth watering for that little bit more.
«…jutting riffs, tastefully restrained electronics and cripplingly delicate, sensitive and emotionally translucent passages »