Bristol’s Velcro Hooks return after a hiatus with a new studio and album
THE VELCRO HOOKS ARE BACK!!! While some of you might be blinking and looking a bit bemused about my over excitement, trust me, this is a very good thing! Way back in 2012 a fledgling label on Bristol, Howling Owl, came across a band and put out the 12” Gymophoria single. It garnered the attention of 6Music and XFM and quickly sold out. In 2013 Howling Owl put out the double A-Side 7” Galaxy Police Club/Tickle Me Sick, which also got rave reviews and sold well. For Record Store Day Howling Owl released a split 12” EP that featured Spectres, Oliver Wilde, The Natural and today heroes the Velcro Hooks. This also sold out and passes for silly money whenever it rears its head online or at record fairs. Then, everything went quiet.
When a new band stops releasing for a bit, it’s not really a cause for concern as they’re either busy tour or recording, but as their absence grew longer, it was starting to look like the band was over. This made the few things they released sound even better, as there was a bittersweet quality about them, as this is all they did, very similar to Skip Spence. But like all good things, they returned out of the blue with a new song Severing the Mind, and a debut album being released, again, through Howling Owl. So where have they been? In Bristol by all accounts, buildling their own studio and recording their debut which is now ready to see the light of day. So far only Severing the Mind has surfaced, but now you’re all excited about the return of your new favourite band, what does it sound like?
Opening with squeals of guitar feedback and distortion, Severing the Mind is a three minute through indie pop, motorik, garage rock beast, but it’s not all noise and confusion, there a subtle layers of melody and harmony, and the lyrics are part nihilistic/part hopeful to the future. But unlike a lot of comebacks this lives up to hype you’ve created in your own mind. Listening to it you remember the original feeling you felt when you first heard Girlfrien’ and Galaxy Police Club. They fill you with a youthful abandon and make you want to rush out to you nearest live venue and see some kids wail on their instruments for half an hour.
After such a long break and exquisite comeback single, the only real question is will the album live up to such a jolt in the arm? Will it containa track with the level of beauty as A Love Song For T.S. Eliot or witty inventiness as The Perogative of Daniel Porter? Luckily we don’t have long to find out, but until then I’m going to keep severing my mind like a wild man.