Imminent death comes in a limited edition
Comic b/w No God - Velatine (Spooky Records)
You need this gritty, honey-dipped red platter of imminent death and vaulting beauty on your turntable now.
And when I say “now”, you need to get your skates on. 150 were pressed, and Spooky has less than half left. This single is pure, powerful Euro-class with tinges of Dead Can Dance, Laibach and Depeche Mode...but with the kind of darkly angelic singer that spotty teenage boys top themselves over.
Have you heard Velatine's first few long-player releases yet? “Store Atmospherics” and “The Trap” (both on Spooky in 2020). Mean, moody and magnificent. Remember that soundtrack to “Twin Peaks”? Well, imagine a similar series set in the Alphabet City, the midnight Gotham of our souls - Velatine slide right in. You can even wear your leather biker jacket. These songs were the result of, as the media release says: "Loki Lockwood delving deep into the world of electronica in an unconventional way, combining a love of cinematic, industrial and pop".
Now, most of you have records on Spooky. If you haven't, alright, maybe you have some produced or mastered by Spook-in-chief Loki. If not... well, this life thing you're in? You're not doing it right. Loki's musical work took a back-step while he sorted out other people's bands and LPs and, at RMIT, taught sharp youngsters how to turn a garage recording into something worth listening to.
COVID proved revelatory. Loki had the time to stitch together the racketing music in his head, tie it down, breathe life and soul into the monster. Now, to quote “No God': "He’s free to be - like no before " ...
Vocalist Maggie Alley, already gaining real traction with only a couple of EP's, made an unexpected arrival in the middle of Velatine's relentless, huge, leg-weakening trajectory. This is nothing short of revelatory. How can she sound so emotional but so distant? Spectacular - vocalists the world over would kill to have this knack.
Alley's voice... the lyrics ... she's in physical control, it seems, but internally ... not. No, no, no, not at all. Rather Simonesque in places. There's a wraith of blues smoke, too, but in this context 'the blues' is the last thing you think of.
The A-side, “Comic” is of course anything but, however Maggie and Loki waltz you around the room, singing snatches of the unfamiliar lyric (by Loki). And, even when you realise what you're singing about, you keep singing, eyes wide ... and when the song finishes you play it again. And again.
I possessed everything a girl could want
Beauty, brains, I was something else
To our offspring - you were nonchalant
In a way I won it all except my head was chopped off
The B-side, “No God” is despairing rough sex on a stick. That's before listening to the lyrics, by the by. Which ... well, I wasn't going to quote again but these are too good not to share... Here's Loki and Maggie, riffing on a theme ...
One night I rose
Fresh blood and awe
I bleed your seeds - like no before
She’s free to be just like you my lord
No god no god
What we did before
“No God” is not a rant but a piece swerving between Trent Reznor and Laibach, with touches (I swear) of Hunters and Collectors...all topped with this fantastic grit-and-honey vocal which damages your inner ear.
You'll be bruised, you'll be swept up in the arms of a broken romance. Loki's music effortlessly twins with Alley's majestic corrosion; it's savage, it's modern, it's old-school.
If Gudinski was still around, he'd be all over Velatine like flies on sherbet; if Molly still ran that shitty TV show, Velatine would be stars on Sunday night. If wishes were fishes, this single would have our heroes of seedy Melbourne laneways plucked from their homes and plunged into the wider, broader world. Screen moguls would demand film scores. Iggy Pop and Patti Smith would demand duets. The English music magazines would sell again...
Why? If what I've said above ain't enough, Velatine are now a bit like an aural equivalent of the Grimm fairy tale about Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. What are you waiting for?