JAMES H. COLLINS
The Veils, "Time Stays, We Go" (Pitch Beast)
British quintet The Veils has recorded an album more evocative of the barren plains of America's Southwest than the streets of London or Auckland, New Zealand, where its charismatic lead singer and songwriter, Finn Andrews, spent his youth.
There's enough tremolo guitar on "Time Stays, We Go" to suggest Ennio Morricone "spaghetti Western" film score flavorings. And songs like "Birds" or "Dancing with the Tornado" have some of the lyrical imagery you might associate with a desert tableau.
Andrews' raw, expressive vocals unify each of the album's 10 tracks.
The record opens with the explosive and colorful up-tempo number "Through the Deep, Dark Wood." But after the opener, the tracks settle into the darker-hued themes that could score a modern "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
The guitar work throughout "Time Stays, We Go" is sparse and effective.
On "Candy Apple Red," the tremolo sounds punctuated by a sharp bass line are perfectly separated from a minimal drum accompaniment. And on "The Pearl," the drums sound as if they're echoing from somewhere miles down a desert highway, beyond tumble-down shacks and dried-up oil wells.
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