A very big departure and, I confess, not my kind of thing. However, the great thing about rock music is that it covers such a wide variety of styles. Velvet Morning (formerly The Banana Club Sandwiches) play trippy psychedelic rock which you can kick back rather than kick off to. And who am I to deprive you folks of a new band full of promise just because I prefer different genres?
The group’s main songwriting source is the young artistic crooner Samuel Jones (Vocals/Guitars), supported by a band of slick musicians John Kirkwood (Bass), Luke Elgar (Guitars) and Chris Richardson (Drums). They hail from the sleepy Essex coastline of Southend-on-Sea [never been, but I gather that it’s a little odd the way the sea stays steady as a rock and the buildings wash up and down – Mosh], and although the town has at a time held an underground allure for spearheading a new wave scene with associated acts such as These New Puritans and The Horrors, to his credit Jones has always dwelled on breaking the small town mould even further, insistent on finding influence outside of his local mentality.
Predominantly siphoning psych stalwarts including The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Psychedelic Furs and Spacemen 3, the bands’ creative output also inadvertently adheres to a golden age of new cosmic idols – Moon Duo, Night Beats, White Fence, Hookworms and Psychic Ills to name a few. Yet in no way do these guys fail to present an original approach to their sound and to their songwriting. Velvet Morning very much display a uniquely avant-garde expression of the modern pop structure.
Their debut EP Velvet Moon, veering from multilayered instrumentation to sparse drone, themes itself around a slow, downbeat tempo, which really works to display how able the group are to accomplish a firmly controlled freakout. Decadently embellished by the pretty sounds of space and propelled by a smooth and tranquil baggy beat, Jones’ low, washed-out vocals retreat among the languid soundscapes encouraging a wholly atmospheric disposition. The EP is not without its hooks though. “Paranoia” has undoubtedly potent lyrics and instrumental breaks, cinemising hallucinogenic tendencies to provide comfort to an itchy trip, while “Blue Jean Baby” odes to The Factory era sixties with a velvety bassline crush.
Currently in the studio building their full length follow up, and playing regularly in London enhanced by projections and strobe, Velvet Morning intend to take off right up into space.
The band’s EP, Velvet Moon, arrives on February 24th.