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September 18, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

The Veils – Nux Vomica

I have a high pretentious bullshit tolerance rating. It takes a lot to outindie me. Yet I find myself to be appalled by the cover art of the second Veils album (not so much a band as a vehicle for the infuriating, fey genius that is Finn Andrews). He’s ditched his original band, as well as England this time round, and is back in Auckland with a couple of old friends filling in on backing duties, with generally astonishing results. Much as I hate that photo with the CGI-perfect cigarette smoke (and on the subject of not judging books by covers, bollocks, he wants to signify himself that way), and happiest when the crashing orchestrations drown out the worst of the lyrics, I cannot admit that Andrews is anything other than a supremely talented songwriter. ‘Advice For Young Mothers To Be’ is a song that occupies the same rarefied air (and vocal style, pianos, and Spector-esque gospel backing) as Nick Cave’s ‘There She Goes, My Beautiful World’. That’s the absolute peak of an album that more or less drops off on either side, but it’s so good that the rest of the album could be dead air as far as I’m concerned. On the subject of Mr. Cave, his influence is everywhere, from Andrews’ tendency to allow his voice to adopt raspier baritone edges and move away from Jeff Buckley, to the dark twisted stomp of the ‘Jesus For The Jugular’ that recalls the Birthday Party and the organs that thunder unchecked throughout the album. Finn Andrews’ wrote the entire first Veils album aged nineteen. A prodigy, undoubtedly, but ‘The Runaway Found’ annoyed the pants off me. It was a stunning album written by a precocious, pretentious kid, and nowhere was that more obvious than on ‘Lavina’. Nux Vomica is rougher, more uneven, more lush, and for want of a better phrase, more grown up. He still annoys me, but it’s foreseeable that Andrews might one day muscle his way in on that club frequented by Messrs Waits, Cave and Young.


About the Author ()

BORN WITH a cigarette in one hand and The Trial in other, Bea meant to go on as she started. Music wasn’t her first love, but her first love ended in a fight over rightful ownership of a Velvet Underground LP and the kitchen knife, so she chose the kinder option and stuck with it. In her spare time she enjoys casting aspersions, skulking, and making sweeping statements. She never checks her facts: figures it’s a way to live a little, to have arguments with people, then meet them. She’s currently writing a collection of short stories inspired by Schopenhauer’s manifesto of suffering and the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. When it gets published, she’s pretty sure that boy will want to hold her hand.

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