OLD STUFF (review): Veya – Slanted City
(written August 1, 2007)
If Wolfmother is the crazed, hyper-active love child of Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep, then the Sunshine Coast 4-piece VEYA is the result of some serious sexy-time between the ‘Mother and, say, At The Drive-In.
It’s a sound that seems acknowledge the direction that the rock market is currently moving in, while at the same time longing for the riff-a-licious, solo-happy days of yore. It’s the sort of instantly marketable sound that makes you wonder if there is an astute producer or manager behind the scenes, steering the band towards the money.
But after one listen to Slanted City, any such thoughts are immediately banished. VEYA’s new 6-track EP smacks of independence and passion, ideologically reminiscent of the sheer fury of The Sex Pistols, with a Ramones-ian habit of being known only by their first names. This vitality, coupled with raw, unadorned recordings leaves you in no doubt that these boys are doing their own thing.
The music is remarkably tight and accomplished for a band of teenagers, with the drum and bass partnership of Skot and Leon seemingly telepathically linked, driving the songs with a furious energy. On top of this is Eddy’s seriously impressive guitar work. Each track could be an audition tape for Guitar Hero III, complete with classic riffs and blistering, perfectly-structured solos that recall a bygone era while still managing to sound fresh and interesting.
The one area where this album falls out is on the only soft track, Come Home. While the guitar part is very sweet, the lyrics doesn’t do it justice. The chorus “nothing can scare me/more than the army has already done” is not exactly Shakespeare, and the vocals during the bridge are strained, and slightly painful to listen to. And while Veya can hardly be accused of being the only band in the world singing with a fake American accent, it never sounds good.
Generally though, Dominic’s vocals match the urgency of the music, with a current, vaguely emo sound to it. This isn’t meant as a derogatory term, despite the current penchant for emo-bashing in music media. However, it must be said that Dom’s rock and roll wail needs a little bit of work. His upper register isn’t particularly strong, but for the most part this simply adds to the unrelenting energy of a band that seems desperate to speak their piece.