Son of The Velvet Rat
Fluff & Gravy Records
Grizzled, Aching and Enigmaticly Poetic Folk Rock
To be perfectly honest I didn’t review The Son of The Velvet Rat’s previous albums DORADO and MONKEY YEARS #2, simply on the basis of the band/duo’s name ……. I regularly do the same if I don’t like an album’s artwork.
But in my defence I think of the albums I receive as if I’m in a record shop flicking through the racks looking for something new and ‘interesting’ ….. okay, I may miss out on some gems, but it’s pretty much held me well over the years; and I doubt anyone has gone bankrupt because I didn’t write about their music.
So; as SOTVR haven’t changed their moniker so why am I writing a review? Well; I now have three copies of SOLITARY COMPANY from three very different sources in Europe and the USA …… someone out there wants me to hear them!!
So; not knowing what to expect, I pressed ‘play’ …… hmmm; interesting …… opening track Alicia is very, very interesting. The song’s construction errs on the side of Alt. Folk but with complex and fascinating instrumentation; and that’s before Georg Altziebler makes an appearance with a world weary and wheezy vocal; akin to Nick Cave or (check out our recent review) Harry Dean Stanton on a song of lost love and the despair it creates.
The titular Solitary Company follows and the mood Geog, wife Heike and a multitude of musicians creates is almost claustrophobic and certainly cinematic; of the Noir persuasion methinks.
As we flit in and out of the couple’s songs they get darker and ever more eloquent; touching on Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker territory at times; none more so than the windswept Remember Me and 11 & 9 (which I need to play again through headphones as I’m sure it will unravel like a roll of glittery wool if I do).
I’m pleased to say that SOTVR’s exemplary musicianship means that there is actual light and shade as the moods vary quite dramatically as the album progresses; Beautiful Disarray virtually ‘rocks’ in a mid-period Cohen manner; and Ferris Wheel is as near a toe-tapper as they will probably ever get; but still has the capacity to sound a little bit scary around the edges.
For my Favourite track I’m unable to choose between the Western tinged Remember Me and Stardust too, with its punchy drumming and rumbling guitars, and the other coming from the polar opposite end of the spectrum; The Waterlily and the Dragonfly which most certainly comes from the Leonard Cohen book of enigmatic Poetic Folk Rock music; and it just has to be sung in a grizzled, aching and dare I say it? Sexy tone like Georg Altziebler makes sound so natural.
It now appears that the three people who sent me copies of SOLITARY COMPANY know my musical taste better than I do myself; and this Austrian couple who now live on the edges of Joshua Tree are firm favourites at RMHQ.
Thank you all …… and most of all; thank you Georg and Heike.