7/10 Brian Staff review, 06 June 2014
Tom Vek was one of those mid 00's anomalies - a genuinely interesting purveyor of progressive bedroom pop who seemed to pull these quite wonderful earworms from his hide like he was picking a fluffy piece of lint from his sleeve. Then studying it scientifically through his clever boffin specs. He likes his specs so much he had them as star feature on the sleeve for his last outing for Island records 3 years past. Yeah. R&R, lets go.
Now on Moshi Moshi (which is hopefully not the new Cooking Vinyl) the lad has burned off a new album in half the time it took him to deliver 'Leisure Seizure'. He's on a roll bless. I was expecting to hate 'Luck' but it appears both his knack for the finer points of the creative process and astute ear for a catchy tune are still remarkably evident. After a woozy opener with its spangled glassy guitar, soporific mantra and subsequent blossoming into nonchalantly flailing rock tropes, the first pop gem arrives in 'Sherman' which gently recalls the brooding, jerky anthemic propulsion of Soul Coughing. It's a rabidly catchy tune with shrieks of frozen lazer synth, a downward spiralling post-punk guitar and relentless funky feet-itching drums. I can imagine Tom doing a Michael J Fox dance to this on stage.
The sad decayed organ, swaying rhythms and weird exotic samples of 'Broke' next leading onto 'Pushing Your Luck' which has a really nice slinky groove and bags of dubby atmosphere. Once again, this is a natural radio smash. He still shits cool pop tunes after all these years! 'Ton of Bricks' brings on a funky drum break, giddy 80's mid-range synth stabs and his usual semi-spoken word lyrical embellishment. His young monotone London voice isn't that strong - never was - but it really suits the idiosyncratic quirky pop he makes so who gives a damn. Like with 'We Have Sound', there's always loads of curious ephemera woven around his music to give it personality and depth.
Skipping onwards, lastly, to 'A Mistake', which is anything but, driven by a grungy bassline, a clanking slow-gallop of percussion and cold synths it sounds one of the most American songs on here, slightly emo-esque with a slight hint of Weezer in the vocals. It's nonetheless a downtrodden surprise. There would be people that would shout me down me for this but it's just occurred to me that 'Luck' definitely lounges some spot between the early DIY gear of fellow prodigious Londoner Kwes and the most commercial moments from the later career of post-hardcore bunch The Dismemberment Plan. With some early Hot Chip sauce.
Not a bad combination huh? Errrr....not much filler on here either, I consistently enjoyed it almost as much as his début all those moons ago.
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- Luck by Tom Vek
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