Album review: The Velveteers – Nightmare Daydream

Snakes & drums & rock & roll: shapeshifting rockers The Velveteers invite you into their world with Nightmare Daydream…

Album review: The Velveteers – Nightmare Daydream
James MacKinnon

The Velveteers don’t write songs of yesterday. Actually, if you listened to Nightmare Daydream blind then you would have trouble placing exactly when it was made. Too groovy and kaleidoscopic for current trends; too scuzzy and aggressive for retro-rock purists. But like rock’s most timeless albums, The Velveteers occupy a strange realm all their own on this Dan Auerbach-produced debut.

What should be beyond dispute is that the Boulder, Colorado trio can riff with the best of them. Singer Demi Demitro’s fuzzed-up baritone guitar is thicker than a tar milkshake, coaxing wonky leads as seemingly telepathic drummers Jonny Fig and Baby Pottersmith pound shared kits, quite literally joined at the floor tom. This bottom-heavy power dynamic shines on tracks like Dark Horse, a parade of colossal bass drums and Demi’s pseudo-organ effects wizardry, which then reveals its true colours with a flourish of doomy, speaker-blowing riffs.

Yet consider the title-track, where dusty acoustic and piano filter out as if from some old-timey saloon before being abducted by otherworldly synths. Charmer And The Snake also slithers from grasp, sidewinding through slinky stoner rock, robot disco and eerie echoes of Dusty Springfield-esque pop. Very little is as it seems here. ‘Broken dreams and white lies, it’s a fix, so shield your eyes,’ coos Demi on Beauty Queen, the best song here. As the band effortlessly shift gears from pedal-to-the-metal garage rock to hazy cruising speeds and back again, it sounds as if they’re navigating the winding inclines and sharp drops of a haunted canyon.

“We’re ready to go wherever the music takes us,’ Demi recently told Kerrang!. On the strength of Nightmare Daydream, it is a road with many intriguing side streets for them to explore. Take the trip.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Royal Blood, Starcrawler, Black Mountain

Nightmare Daydream is released on October 8 via Easy Eye Sound

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