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Album Review: Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure

Five years late, modern indie gets a futuristic twist

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Arriving on Earth in May 2011 like a gawky Time Lord, Tom Vek has jumped forward in time from 2005 to save music. Like his fellow Gallifreyan Dr Who, Vek is a bit unhip and on the surface less technologically advanced than his adversaries, the Blubstep Jims. To people on Planet Earth it will appear as if he’s been away for six years, but he doesn’t have time to explain the theory of relativity to slowcoaches, he’s here to save us from people with expensive haircuts weeping lachrymose nothings into infernal Auto-Tune units. But he is a better composer than Weepy Jamie Woon; a more substantial lyricist than Inconsolable James Blake; and a more engaging producer than Yammering Jamie xx.

This is not to say that Vek’s style hasn’t changed at all since ‘We Have Sound’; gone are the tin-foil-thin guitars and Stephen Morris (Joy Division/New Order) influenced drums, replaced by a much more satisfyingly beefy John Stanier (Helmet/Battles) rhythm attack. Essentially Vek is exactly the same (an English David Byrne making herky-jerky dance music for sharp-dressed, literate lovers) but with giant chrome knobs on (he spent time away learning new production skills and it shows). ‘World Of Doubt’ calls upon revered English neo-prog sorts The Cardiacs for its sinister riff.

Vek truly exploits the benefits of being in a one-man band: all instruments and ideas can be used as often or as sparingly as he likes; the feelings of the Mellotron and crumhorn session musicians do not need to be taken into account. ‘APOLOGY’ has the kind of warm, reverberating analogue synth riff that will have you nodding your head like a sad zoo animal on a rocking horse. ‘A Chore’ (Vek’s ‘Once In A Lifetime’) is a brilliant lead single, but there are other highlight contenders such as the anthemic ‘Someone Loves You’ and the glittering ‘Too Bad’. ‘Leisure Seizure’ proves that Vek may be out of time but he’s also out of this world.

John Doran

Order a copy of Tom Vek's 'Leisure Seizure' from Amazon
8 / 10

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