Release DetailsLABEL Firebox Records
RELEASED ON 5/22/2006
posted on 5/2006 By:
Besides Fall of the Leafe, Swallow the Sun, and The Eternal – people have said that Misery Inc. are good too, but I haven’t heard ‘em – Firebox Records doesn’t do a whole lot for me, Velvetcut now included. The Finnish quartet’s debut long-player, Thirteen, is describable as a hard rock record with enough redeeming qualities to prevent being totally disregarded, yet it does indeed lack distinguishing characteristics. In essence, this is just more of the same, which is something I’m rarely looking for.
The truth is that Velvetcut’s overall sense of melody – coupled with their proclivity for including edge when appropriate – is fairly spot-on, but their shtick is difficult to get into for a number of reasons. One of the reasons being that Tomi’s (guitars) vocals are quite off-putting during the first two tracks, despite the songs’ driving natures. When he opts for a low-key approach, however, his performance is easier to swallow. To return to my initial statement, the music of “Lady Solitude,” and “Everyone to Please” isn’t bad, if not ordinary, but the awkward vocals kill any chance of enjoyment. “Room of Our Existence” – occasionally reminding me of the way a Katatonia number unfolds during the midsection – is a step up from the standards its predecessors set, while I envision myself visiting the calmer mellower compositions such as “The Chase” and “Dominoes” more often. Basically, when Velvetcut are ostensibly laidback, that’s when I’m apt to admire and immerse myself in their abilities. Nevertheless, to generalize, every song on Thirteen has at least one instance when I’m able to recognize the excellence of the melody they’ve incorporated, though unlike efforts by their above-mentioned labelmates, there’s not a song on here that fully employs their strengths and remains catchy to boot.
The term I feel encapsulates these Finns is mixed bag. Arguably, a handful of the melodies and riffs are topnotch, but Velvetcut fail to leave a lasting impression. Plus a large amount of this debut is forgettable, and the boisterous vocals only complicate the matter. Even at 39 minutes, Thirteen seems to drag.
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