Goooood evening ladies and gents. I’m feeling quite relaxed today, after a weekend that involved nothing more than getting blissful and watching movies. Sadly tomorrows sunrise will bring a cold and grey dose of reality with it, but thanks to Rochester’s Velvet Elvis, I’m having trouble caring about that fact.
A hefty combination of psychedelica and stoner, with just a touch of the occult added in for good measure, this quintet just released their debut full-length, “In Deep Time” during June of this year. Thick grooves and thicker riffs are surfed over by a powerful set of pipes resulting in songs that reach more towards the “soaring” and “epic” end of the spectrum.
The aforementioned vocals are the driving force behind these vibes, as the usual male growl is replaced with a much more sultry female tone, the velvet to the Elvis if you are so inclined. I’ve always found female vocal to completely change the way a song would sound, both have their merits and both have their place, but there are some times when female vocals can take a song places male vocals never could.
Velvet Elvis seems to have realized this, with the majority of the vocals being provided being female and backing vocals provided by the males. It gives the vocal score a texture you don’t usual get in a uni-sexual setup.
These vocals are then matched perfectly with the accompanying instrumentals. Fuzzed out riffs pound into your eardrums, building into some pretty monumental peaks. These peaks soon lead to dark and eerie valleys, filled with howling echoes and warbling drones that leave you disoriented, confused and looking for more. It’s one hell of a trip, that’s for sure.
Most of the tracks play out in this sinusoidal fashion, with fire and brimstone peaks fading into a misty white oblivion, only to be blasted back to your initial euphoria. “In Deep Time” showcases a band that knows exactly what they are doing and are more than happy to take you along for the ride. “Brass Tacks” is probably my favorite track from the album, with plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting.
This is an impressive album, especially for a debut record. I find that a lot of heavy psychedelic or occult albums tend to get stuck in a mire of fantasy back stories and pretentious build-ups. Velvet Elvis avoid all of these problems with an album that will still trip your brains without forgetting this is rock and roll, first and foremost.
“In Deep Time” is up for $7 on Bandcamp and I highly suggest you give ‘er a listen. Have at ’em!