Not to be confused with the 60s doo-wop band, or the Underground kind of Velvets, this Finnish duo are today’s Velvets, comprising the experienced talents of Sakari Vänttinen on guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, percussions and backing vocals with lead vocals by Sami Mustonen. Their self-titled debut is eight tracks on the lighter side of rock… the kind that we all liked in the 70s (whether we admit it or not) and Top of the Pops was our guilty pleasure… for many reasons. The duo skillfully evokes the era of rock when big bands were often chart-toppers too, be they heavy, glam or gloss.
Opening with Quo and Slade stylings melded with a hint of Darkness, ‘Honey’ is pure pop perfection, with an inventive guitar solo too. ‘Never Let You Go’ follows a similar formula, with a four-bar bluesy riff and a big chorus.
‘Loved By You’ brings the ballad with a kind of Petty-ness feel and it’s the single to promote the album and does so well. ‘Hurricane’ is a faster, Ramones does CCR like rock’n’roll song. ‘Light of the Night’ has a Feelgood style opening and develops into a decent boogie along song.
The album closer, ‘Delusion’ is my favourite as the rock goes a bit bluesier and is backed by brilliant cliches cleverly deployed…think Allmans done by REM.
Don’t think of the comparisons as a criticism, rather a reason to listen and revel in some well-executed old(ish) style rock with an up to date polish.
Velvets is released on 24th September on The Sign Records label.