Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Blue Velvet-Four Songs

August 1, 2006

Band Name: Blue Velvet
Album Name: Four Songs
Best Element: The total abandon of narrative post-rock
Genre: Post-Rock
Website: www.bluevelvet.org

Label Name: Phratry Records/BC Records
Band E-mail: bluevelvetny@hotmail.com

…then God created post-rock….and Mogwai to boot. He created the original and now allows for the evolution of His creation. Mutation in the form of Blue Velvet, who creates choppy instrumentals with an original idea in mind; they refer to their music as “organic.” Usually when one thinks of the word “organic” they think Kashi bars and eggs produced by unadulterated, hand fed chickens. In this case, “organic” is used to press the point that Blue Velvet does not utilize loops, processed guitars, or computer tricks. The New York sextet is comprised of a keyboardist, cellist, and a pair of guitarists and percussionists whose sole purpose seems to release their first self-titled LP. This is to be hoped for especially after the release of their third studio EP. Between the EPs and the two demos, you can put together their entire LP, whose tracks are listed on their website.


It is clear that Blue Velvet is creating their own instrumental identity. They take away the linear, narrative feel that is expected in the majority of post-rock, and replace it with a sharp, cutting sound throughout- hardly what I would expect from a band whose name comes from a silky material. The first track, “Docile 1”, fits in exactly with the band’s description of itself; “repetitive, drony, angular, and abrasive.” To most, these attributes may appear to be a disastrous mix, but let me assure you that it is just the opposite. “Docile 2” is just as rough as “Docile 1”. In fact, I had trouble feeling the difference between the two tracks. It is safe to say that Blue Velvet’s first tracks almost sound similar to math rock, a type close to that of Don Cabellero, but without being as drum-centered. “Blue Cannon” is almost a breath of fresh air to the EP. The choppiness does not disappear, but Blue Velvet has suddenly dipped their foot into a dimension of jazz with a simple yet catchy guitar line. The entire track feels as if it had been improvised. This is by far one of Blue Velvet’s strongest tracks. A close second would be their closing track, “Untitled (Two)”. The coarseness resumes, creating an almost hypnotic feel. Towards the end there is a barrage of chaotic, squealing trumpets and a haunting guitar line that leaves you with an empty feeling.

Blue Velvet has written a new chapter in the musical book. Never have I felt so tense while listening to music, but my feeling tense is just an affirmation that Blue Velvet has achieved their experimental goal. It is always nice to hear a band that is ready to go against the grain and experiment with textures and rhythms without so much as a glance back into the expected attributes of a post-rock group.

-Mark Pranger

MarkySparky07@yahoo.com

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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