A Short, Sweet One from Alfonso Velez
Running a daily music blog has its downside: sometimes there’s absolutely no time for it. Thankfully, there’s the ever-more-popular trend where albums just get shorter and shorter. Today we have Alfonso Velez to thank for putting out a four-song release simply titled AV. He may play under his own name, but he’s a rock tunesmith, not a folkie. And he’s a damn good one. The first track, Criminal, is period-perfect goth-pop: brisk new wave rhythm, syncopated drums, minor-key soul/pop guitars, murky early 80s Cure atmospherics. It’s a kiss-off song, Velez’ moody voice lingering on the vowels.
An ominously funereal bell-like guitar figure over a steady midtempo pulse kicks off The Need to Know, a creepy, Lynchian minor key blues. “If you feel something creeping up your neck, check check check check check,” Velez intones. Miles, a gorgeous, majestically crescendoing art-rock anthem, takes the vibe ten years forward into 90s Britrock, like the Verve but a thousand times more tuneful. Velez bends his voice with even more of a nod to Richard Ashcroft on the last song, A Riot. You can hear the whole thing here.