Veluxe – S/T EP

Veluxe
S/T EP

First, a geography lesson. Rochester, NY lies in western New York and borders Lake Ontario. Buffalo, NY a bit more well-known and lies about an hour and a half to the west. I’ve been in Rochester for six months, and I had yet to really hear any good local bands. Everyone was from Buffalo. An hour and a half away lay a stellar indie rock scene, and it proved just too far away at times for me to feel a part. There didn’t even seem to be any good shows in Rochester.

So when I talked to Darren DeWispelaere from Veluxe at a rare good show in Rochester, I asked him if there are any good bands in Rochester. He said they’re mostly garage-rock. While most garage-rock bands are noisy and obnoxious, it’s important to remember that the Pixies started out as a garage-rock band. And that’s the first reference point for Veluxe, the first good Rochester band I’ve found.

Three songs from this trio show their penchant for straight-ahead guitar-rock with a twist that, five years ago, I would have called alternative. Live, I got the sense that the band had a metal background, but on album with nearly perfect production, the band sounds smooth and rocking in a nice, unique sense. The guitars blaze, the vocals go from smooth to edgy, and the rhythm is fast and strong.

“Lion’s Face” starts off with a bit of a punk-rock feel. The guitar comes in bursts, driving and quite impressive, but overall, the song has a nice, restrained feel. I can’t decide if I like this smoother sound or the more rough, edgy sound of “In Time” more. The rhythm on “In Time” is allowed to take more prominence, and the song has a more edgy, aggressive feel. In fact, something about the chorus makes me think of old grunge, like when it first came out and was all edgy, with bands like Alice in Chains and Screaming Trees making so much interesting music. “St. Pat’s” finishes off, and here DeWispelaere sounds quite a bit like Frank Black, and the song is much more up-tempo and driving rock-n-roll. Some great guitar and bass here.

I’m very impressed with this demo EP, even more so than with the band’s live show, which was pretty good too. They lead me to think there’s hope for the Rochester scene yet.