The Veils’ latest long-player, ‘Total Depravity’ is a brash, debaucherous step up from 2013’s seemingly insignificant ‘Time Stays, We Go’.
Maudlin yet heavily sensual levels of noise are very much The Veils’ calling card, and when paired here with El P from Run The Jewels on co-production, the result is a blistering, dark and twisted war cry framed by renaissance-infused cover art from Nicola Samorí. ‘Total Depravity’ was recorded in multiple locations: Estúdios Sá da Bandeira in Portugal, Konk Studios in London, Casa Lynch in Los Angeles, and El-P’s studio in Upstate New York.
This record has been over two years in the making; undoubtedly you’d expect the merging of two different genres, but there’s not a smidge of hip-hop here. Instead there’s an almost-cocky sense of pride lurking in the depths of this almost-debaucherous record that brings in more produced sounds than your average guitar and drums setup.
Opening with recent single ‘Axolotl’, a moody assault of distortion framed around a breed of neotenetic salamander, that is, reaching maturity while retaining its juvenile features, and the idea that this perpetually teenage amphibian is nature being erroneous AF.
>> watch our interview with The Veils’ frontman Finn Andrews about starring in Twin Peaks and recording with Run The Jewels’ El P
Distortion is brooding throughout, particularly in the perturbing ‘King of Chrome’ that harks with impending doom barely under a spoken-word shoutover. In contrast, reprieve is found in ‘Swimming With The Crocodiles’, a slow and sultry album highlight that finds Finn’s vocal overwhelmed by a chunky bassline, and a swelling chorus.
‘Iodine and Iron’ brings The Veils right back to fucking sad music, it’s every break-up ballad rolled into one, multiplied infinitely by the power of early career track ‘Lavinia’, and battling it out with Nick Cave. The thing is, with Frontman Finn Andrews, is the level of authenticity in his songwriting. If he’s singing it, he’s living it, and we’re believing it, and that’s the most heartbreaking thing of all.
The Veils’ knack for writing bloody good, bitter, tragic and fucked-up music is indeed going to be with us for a long time yet. Throughout ‘Total Depravity’ it hovers overhead like a colony of rabid bats waiting for the album’s closing title track – to which you should have the emptiest, most meaningless sex you’ve ever had.
Unlike the axolotl, clutching onto eternal youth for survival, The Veils reach a new level of maturity in ‘Total Depravity’. Who needs neoteny when you can have a 12-track tome firing on its every single twisted cylinder?