Velcro One – Amateur Loops EP

Velcro One
Amateur Loops EP

Velcro one is Tim Heyl, also known as the singer/guitarist for the noise outfit Swissfarlo. His strategy with this side-project makes a certain amount of sense. He wanted to interject some experimentation into the standard folk/acoustic formula and shake things up a bit. Guessing from the name of the record, he apparently did not feel very confident in his abilities in regards to electronics. Thus, it may come as a surprise that that the noisy introductions to each song sound fantastic. On the other hand, the songs themselves are an uneven bunch at best. No track comes particularly close to passing the three-minute mark, so this six track EP ends very quickly. Here are a couple of high and low points:
“Hymn #47” starts the record with some soothing backwards noise (perhaps processed feedback) meandering about with a simple two chord acoustic progression on top. Rather suddenly, the noise drops away and the chords switch to something more Neutral Milk Hotel-esque. Tim messed with the vocals, but the still sound seriously out-of-tune. Sometimes that can add to the personality of a song, but here it is merely annoying.
“Don’t Miss Much” is probably my favorite track, but it still has some serious problems. Luckily, the vocals are much improved, and the addition of a female singer gives the song much need depth. The computerized guitar solo is quite reminiscent of OK Computer-era Radiohead, but it still adds to the song. The real issue is the chorus. While it certainly pack a hook that can make you jaw hurt, it sounds just like one of the songs off Nirvana Unplugged.
“Long for Fever” — The oscillating noise and toy piano mix well as an intro, but the song once again drops back into formulaic pop. The vocals continue to get better, and delayed guitar tinkling provides some excellent texture, making this pretty good track.
Really, there is nothing “bad” about this CD. However, I don’t really think that added 30 seconds of noise to the beginning of each song counts as “experimentation.” The real problem is the lack of hooks or melodies to entice the listener. I suppose if one really loved quirky folk-pop, they might enjoy this. Otherwise, with no real memorable moments and a super short running time, there isn’t much to recommend.