Friday, November 27, 2015

The Veterans- Qu4rtet

I was lost in thought the other day about visual art in contrast to music and how they connect. Both are obviously mediums that belong to the same family but the initial point of sensory for the two starts in different locations. With this separation of entry, the beauty is that they both end up in the same place, which is your heart. So the song becomes a painting, paintings become music and at the most complex, it really isn't because the end result is love. I laughed at myself for having this sort of magic Dee Dee kind of idea and then I thought about the two songs I was listening to in that moment. I've always loved The Veterans because they're like a work of art in motion. Two strong elements are always there to define their unmistakable presence which are Italian punk rock greats, Andrea Manges and Alex Bounty, but there's always a change in the way their sound is delivered each time they record. Never taking away from the quality of their songs, these shifts in presentation are what hold my interest so I was most definitely excited when I found out that they'd be releasing a new single. It's called "Qu4rtet" and that's what I'll be professing my admiration for today.

The songs were recorded during early 2015 by Alex Bounty in phases with the drums being captured at New Mood Studio, then the remaining parts at Evolution Studios, and Andrea's garage. When that process was finished, Alex pieced it all together with his great experience and the end result of sound is seamless. Upholding their reputation with great imagery, the cover for the 7" is lovely, featuring a photo shot in Playa Palancar, Mexico by Linda Pineapples and then the back has a great photo of this latest Veterans incarnation by Stefano "Tave" Righi. But it doesn't end there! As an added bonus, there is a gorgeous poster insert with an illustration designed by the incredible Riccardo Bucchioni who also did the layout for the entire design of this 7" accompanied by the lyrics to "Rocket Summer". I won't ruin the surprise too much but it's got everything you could think of in relation to the lyrics from a monkey, to hula girls, to rocket ships and I love it! I'll definitely be framing mine. Official release happened on November 11th by Striped Music and It's Alive Records, and yes! There is of course a download code included with the record that was pressed to black vinyl. Digital only is available through bandcamp where the songs are streaming in full so go press play now if you've not given them a listen yet!

Like their first release, I was head over heels for the last two singles that got revealed together, and was curious to see what they'd do from a standpoint of personnel on "Qu4rtet". The change this time was for things to stay a little more constant with the four members of Andrea, Alex, then Ally returning from the last session, and the new addition of Lorenzo on drums which I thought was perfect because he's such a creative force in his own band and an incredible talent too! Side A holds the original offering of "Rocket Summer". Like I said in my last piece for the show report in Italy, I absolutely find Andrea to be one of greatest poets punk rock has ever had and this song is a perfect example of why I feel that way. Taking a simple element of trust in a relationship, he mixes in sci-fi metaphor and it makes for such a beautiful gem lyrically. Sonically, it's also breathtaking with a very intricate arrangement that is spot on cohesive with their influences(Punk Rock, Surf Rock, Alternative). Very Beach Boys in it's pop sensibility and leaning even a little more towards alternative too this time with the way Alex layered in the guitars, reminiscent of 90's Weezer. That's something I can always become smitten with. This little more than three and a half minutes of perfection really is one of the most brilliant songs Andrea has ever written and makes it enough reason to buy the 7" multiple times but there's a B Side waiting to be discovered! Staying in tradition with choosing cool cover songs, they chose this time to do the very cool Go-Go's "The Whole World Lost Its Head" and it's perfectly done. I love the way Andrea can take anyone's song and imprint his persona into it well enough that it becomes his own which he did without fail this time and Ally stepped in to contribute the backing vocals. She did a great job!

This was a wonderful return for a band that's so much more than a side project for me and I think they will always be able to make something worth adding to your collection. Make sure to pick this gem up from either Striped or It's Alive and go press like on The Veterans facebook page if you haven't done so!  

The Veterans are....
Andrea Manges- Lead Vocals
Alex Bounty- Guitars
Ally from Teenage Bubblegums- Bass
Lorenzo from The Ponches- Drums

Side A
Rocket Summer(Andrea Manges)
Side B
The Whole World Lost Its Head(Go-Go's)

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