Thursday, 23 June 2011

Album reviews: TOM VEK - Leisure Seizure

Highlights: Aroused, A Chore, A.P.O.L.O.G.Y., On A Plate

Tom Vek plays stylish, highly inventive music that is nevertheless very much in the ‘pop’ department. It’s all very elaborate, very meticulously done – and the fact that this is only his second album in 6 years (the debut, We Have Sound, was released in 2005) reflects just how much craft and thought Tom puts into it. 

But however elaborate and meticulous it may be in terms of sound and arrangements, song-wise Leisure Seizure is a very spontaneous, adventurous record. The tracks are mostly based on jerky, wild drum patters, clever, fearless synths and guitar lines (everything’s played by Tom Vek himself) that – and here’s the catch – have nothing to do with the album’s vocal melodies. Because on top of all that instrumentation you’ve got these effective, (mostly) perfectly accessible tunes that are clever and memorable. Songs like “A Chore”, “Aroused” or “A.P.O.L.O.G.Y.” are as catchy as I’ve heard this year. Some have difficulties with Tom Vek’s voice, but I personally find his vocal style to be quite effective and charismatic. It only gets slightly grating over the course of his more experimental songs – like “Seizemic” or the lengthy, atmospheric “Close Mic’ed”. 

It’s all really interesting, and really hard to describe. Songs made up of numerous disjointed elements that are layered on top of each other – yet it all hangs together perfectly. Not everything works – but when it does, it’s pure aural delight. 


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