Veil Veil Vanish
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Veil Veil Vanish

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE

San Francisco, California, United States | INDIE
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Dark. Lush. Dreamy. Serene. Chilling. Those are just some of the words that come to mind when trying to describe Change in the Neon Light, the phenomenal and striking debut album by Veil Veil Vanish---San Francisco's latest dark gem to rise from the music underground. It's no shock that this band will be compared to The Cure. For starters, lead man Keven Tecon's vocals definitely echo Robert Smith, only more powerful and less whimpery. It's a fair and totally legit comparison, not to mention a compliment, only The Cure hasn't made an album this good since the mid ‘80s.



Opening title track "Change in the Neon Light" sets the tone with saturated guitars, beautiful synths, and mesmerizing walls of sound. It's one of those songs that immediately sweeps you off your feet and has you drifting into bliss. It's not often that albums open up with mellow tracks, but ones produced as well as this captivate you and pack a subtle punch and set the mood for what's to come. And what does come is something that borders perfection.



The supersonic "Anthem For a Doomed Youth" kicks things into high gear with its catchy chorus killer guitar. "Exile City" is equally infectious with a melody that will get trapped in your head for days, but it's the pulse-pounding "Modern Lust" that injects a little bit of a dark wave influence. It's insanely catchy, dancy, menacing and has these wicked layers of synths that soar and teleport you back to an ‘80s club dance floor. The band would be crazy to not make this a single.



Things come to a close with the chilling and eerie "The Wilderness"---a track that's like hybrid of The Cure's "A Forest" and Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Land's End." A gorgeous yet haunting number you want to turn off the lights to, it's the perfect closer and bookend track to its opener. By the time you get to the halfway point of the album, you have a realization that this album is some sort of masterpiece. It's equally strong from beginning to end and never disjointed. At just 9 tracks and just shy of 39 minutes, the album's only flaw is that it ends too soon and leaves your senses craving for more. It's a dreamy and atmospheric album that's never over-produced and trying to be something that it's not. Sure, the band may musically resemble The Cure, early The Ocean Blue ("Between Something and Nothing"), Slowdive and even The Killers is some ways, but they are no cheap imitation---in fact, they may even be destined to be greater than those bands. Veil Veil Vanish is certainly a band to keep a close eye on.



Standout Tracks: "Change in the Neon Light," "Anthem For a Doomed Youth," "Exile City," Modern Lust," "The Wilderness" GIL MACIAS - BLURT Magazine


Our return voyage to the darker side of pop continues this week with a look at another up-and-coming band packing retro glam style and a decidedly spooky sensibility – this time the eerie-sounding and remarkably catchy San Francisco quintet Veil Veil Vanish. Their first full-length studio release Change in the Neon Light – which hits stores Tuesday via Metropolis Records – follows the sizable success of their debut EP Into a New Mausoleum by drawing once again on the doom-filled influences of iconic bands like The Cure… but this time they’ve managed to kick the intensity and precision of their sound to a higher level. I gave their CD a spin recently, and I’ll break it all down for you below the jump… so flip it over!

Veil Veil Vanish are no strangers to their fellow Bay Area denizens, thanks to a steady stream of club gigs, a well-received appearance at SF’s Noise Pop festival and a fair amount of local radio play. But lately the team (vocalist Keven Tecon, guitarist Cameron Ray, bassist Amy Rosenoff, keyboardist Justin Anastasi and drummer Robert Marzio) has also drawn international attention and critical praise for fusing ‘70s glam, ‘80s new wave & synth-pop and ‘90s shoegaze onto current post-punk revival styles to create an atmospheric tapestry that draws frequent comparisons with the Cure at their peak. It’s no surprise then that the band recently took part in the Cure tribute album Perfect as Cats, along with other indie, electronic and dark-pop artists like The Dandy Warhols, Bat for Lashes, Jesu, The Muslims, Tara Busch, Caroline Weeks and Lemon Sun.

Hearing Change in the Neon Light for the first time, I quickly found the Cure connection – I mean, who wouldn’t, after hearing the rolling bass lines, reverb-saturated lead guitar and Tecon’s vocal delivery. But honestly, it’s more a matter of the artists being tuned to the same offbeat frequency than a direct lifting of that iconic band’s style. What struck me more was their colossal wall-of-sound technique – a product of old-school DIY gear tweaking, multi-layered arrangements and epic-sized studio production (courtesy of Atom, whose credits also include the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) that gives the songs weight and power. They also manage to mix and match genres and styles in enough diverse ways to keep your attention from start to finish – and these days of media over-saturation, that’s pretty hard to pull off.

The opening strains of the title track effortlessly set the tone with a colossal, cavernous soundscape punctuated by powerful drum lines and glassy synths – with that warm, rolling bass as a menacing heartbeat. The edges get rougher with Anthem for a Doomed Youth, a faster-paced run highlighted by crunchy rhythm guitars and Tecon's slightly doubled, trumpet-clear vocals. The equally up-tempo Exile City makes excellent use of an insistently stabbing lead guitar line that occasionally breaks up into strange harmonics, which in turn blend perfectly with chilly synth washes.

The less guitar-driven but very powerful Modern Lust opens with a low, sawtooth electro-buzz straight from the archives of late '80s synth-pop, brimming over with dark, lusty energy. Together with the equally strong Pharmaceutical Party Platform, the band manages to capture the essence of that era's romanticism without a misstep.

Secondhand Daylight offers an interlude in the form of a lighter, airier number with a bold and bright chorus, but the mood turns dark once again for the speedy, raucous This Is Violet, which features some of the album’s strongest, rawest lead-guitar work. Detachment is a decent mid-tempo piece benefiting from excellent vocal harmonies and frenetic repetition of the song's title, before we gear down for the haunting, grinding ambient synths, tremolo guitars and electronic beats of closing cut The Wilderness, which builds to a seriously creepy instrumental coda – another standout track ideal for lights-out listening.

It’s quite possible that Change in the Neon Light might push Veil Veil Vanish fully into their own creative sphere, although I expect the Cure references will continue to draw a lot of attention. That’s not a bad thing: the Cure’s brand of dreamy, high-atmosphere post-punk is practically a genre unto itself, and I think it’s fair to say VVV has mastered that genre’s rules – an essential move, even if rules are made to be broken. And break them they do, soaring off into some amazing new dimensions. Creating dark, dreamlike moods through dense, epic arrangements is definitely their strength… and if that’s the feeling you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed.
- Fearnet.com


One of our favorite albums this year has been Veil Veil Vannish’s Change The Neon Light. Excitement buzzed around the Auxiliary crew when we found out that they released a video for “Anthem for a Doomed Youth”. A solid song and a great representation of the experience of the album, coincidently it is also their single. Before watching this video I had a limited idea of what the band looked like and for some reason I always pictured the lead singer Keven Tecon as a blonde haired surfer kind of guy, thankfully I was wrong. Anyways the video doesn’t offer much else besides checking out the bands style and I am OK with it.
- Auxiliary Magazine


San Francisco's Veil Veil Vanish, who have garnered comparisons to the Cure, Interpol and My Bloody Valentine in various settings, played two New York gigs this month on their June East Coast tour, one in Williamsburg and one in the East Village. At Coco66 in Williamsburg, a small, but determined crowd waited patiently through the midnight hour to satisfy their curiosity about the eponymous band which seems in many ways a modern version of the Cure. Veil Veil Vanish have been characterized as many things including Goth or 80s Post-Punk based on their EP Into a New Mausoleum and visual style, but none of that quite captures the many moods of their dreamy, sometimes catchy, yet seductively dark full- length album A Change in the Neon Light. (Authorized downloads below).

Veil Veil Vanish's live show has many of the same melodic, layered sounds, catchy bass-lines and singing, distorted guitars which comprise the album, but the overall effect is much more moody and atmospheric. Dressed in black and paired with even darker opening acts, Veil Veil Vanish alternated between moments of My Bloody Valentine loud, fuzzed out sound and dramatic electro-pop dance tunes led by synth-heavy structures with bite. The mostly black-clad Alt crowd who stayed up late on a Thursday night to see them play songs with titles like, "Anthem for a Doomed Youth," may not have been expecting exactly that mix, but after decidedly darker opening acts, the energy was palpable and danceable.

Lead singer Kevin Tecon has that resonant baritone that has been compared ad nauseum to Robert Smith and also resembles contemporaries like Yannis Philippakis of Foals. He sells the songs ably with energy and passion, which is rare in the down-tempo, darker arena. With a hint of rasp in an otherwise full, pure sound, his vocals have a certain somber, but rich quality that captivates. The band is tightly synced and plays the yearning melodies and desperate, yet hopeful lyrics well. The sound works well in a closed room where the acoustics can balance the many glassy tones with the softer basslines and light drums, but those subtleties might be harder to translate in bigger or outdoor venues. Nevertheless, Veil Veil Vanish's live show has that ethereal, transporting quality that transforms the room with mood.

- Examiner New York


Veil Veil Vanish is the darkest gem in the treasure chest of San Francisco's indie scene. Their debut EP, Into a New Mausoleum, has been praised for it's electric ambiance and a new LP is set for release in Fall 2009 - Noise Pop Music Festival


Recently, the band completed their first southwest tour in support of their debut self-released EP, entitled “Into a new Mausoleum.” The EP, which has been described as a “seductive pop gem,” has already stirred the airwaves with its dance beats and high-rise choruses, and as one critic described “contains more musical anguish than The Cure". - Zero Magazine


What the Cure's Pornography would have sounded like if Neil Halstead (Slowdive) and Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) were on guitars. In other words, Veil Veil Vanish successfully blend their strong post-punk sensibilities with a love for shoegaze soundscapes all interwoven into a cloudy & forboding atmosphere that brings a new edge to existential ennui. - Post-Punk.com


There is a great desolation in Veil Veil Vanish, and what small glow does manage to pierce the gloom is sunless, more like the nimbus of a total eclipse than any kind of rational daylight. - West Coast Performer Magazine


Veil Veil Vanish’s debut EP is a salient discharge of swirling, kinetic atmospheres punctured by deep bass lines and urgent, brusque guitars that brush against soft backdrops, threatening to tear them all down. Steeped in the darker corners of ’80s post-punk adherents, Veil Veil Vanish build brilliantly fevered songs that seduce with their lush, damaged anti-pop fixations. - Exclaim! Canadas Music Authority


Into a New Mausoleum shows Veil Veil Vanish to be in thrall to the guitar sounds of the 80s underground. The San Francisco quartet has the vaguely gothic psychedelia of the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen and the Chameleons down on these six tunes. Swirling guitars and Keven Tecon’s angst-ridden tenor dominate “What Will You Say Tonight” and “Shadows Dripping Like Honey Kissing,” while “All Hands in Prayer” dives deeply into the shoegazer/dream pop ocean. - High Bias


We already reviewed the grandeur of Veil Veil Vanish in the new issue of The Dose mag but until you’ll be able to lay your hands on it, let me just say we have a new love object running around and fornicating madly in the shoegazer/goth/indie triangle. They’re amazing, they’re bittersweet, their debut album Change in the Neon Light is one album we’d play until our ears bleed. (Oh wait, we actually did that.) Watch this space. We have news coming up. - Planet Damage


Last Thursday night I ventured out to Spaceland to catch the record release of Veil Veil Vanish’s new album Change in the Neon Light. I left very impressed with both what I saw and heard, causing me to think this is a band that is going places. This band has come far in their endeavors and it is starting to pay off.

Veil Veil Vanish hit the stage and took the crowd by storm. Sticking to only new material for the set, the band played to the crowd with their unique take on the post-punk of our collective youth. Front man Keven Tecon burned with charisma – you almost felt the ache in his voice on a physical level. The shimmer of Cameron Ray’s 12-string electric guitar could not be dulled even after breaking strings mid-set. He powered on like a true champ and never even seemed to lose a step. This was probably due to the relentless rhythm section bookended by Amy Rosenoff on a thundering bass and Robert Marzio’s drumming which matched her in ferocity while remaining sharp as a tack. All the while the sound seemed to hang and shift with the movements of keyboardist Justin Anastasi ethereal sounds.

While on some level I was longing to hear some of the older classics from their first release, this was a record release and the new material sounded fantastic live. Songs like “Anthem for a Doomed Youth” and the title track “Change in the Neon Light” took on even more life in a live setting. I definitively say that this is a band you will see scale larger venues in the future. You would be doing yourself a great service by catching on now while the line isn’t around the corner, because in my opinion it is only a matter of time. - Radio Free Silverlake




VVV are San Francisco's dark post-punk darlings, harnessing the cutting melodic accuracy of early Cure with the voluminous haze of '90's shoegaze. Keven Tecon's vocals are appropriately pained and apathetic at turns, never overdone-more early '00s indie rock than melancholic '80s goth. Nevertheless, there are still the classic touchstones from the canon. The star single "Modern Lust" is equal parts new wave synths, ringing coldwave guitars and fast and loose driving drums to charge up the seamy lyrics. "Don't think you get to go/Let's just press against the wall." [Yum!-ed.] Live, the song is even better ending VVV's sets with unmatched fervor. Fans of the New York coldwave scene and Wierd Records should definitely take note. - The Big Takeover


If you had the Cure's "Killing an Arab" on cassingle and your daily uniform consists of black skinny jeans and threadbare Bauhaus tees, Veil Veil Vanish deserves a spot on your next lovelorn mix. A loud, moody blend of post-punk and shoegaze, VVV's songs play like a lover's quarrel between Keven Tecon's anguished vocals and Cameron Ray's watery washes of synth-like guitar. Ray, formerly of the South Bay's Andalusia, might be one of the most creative guitarists on the planet, using pedals and gadgets to build sonic structures that could make Phil Spector cream. - SF Weekly


When I was much younger, I often used the word “transportive” to describe songs that had a certain effect on me. Those little gems that evoked a certain mood or allowed me to get lost in the music and transcend reality, even if it was just for three short minutes. Such is the case lately with Veil Veil Vanish. The melodic, mesmeric songs of the San Francisco-based quintet brim with layers of intricate guitars and beguiling vocals, and fondly recall a generation’s childhood favorites and beyond such as the Cure, Killing Joke, Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Equally as absorbing are the band’s live performances; full of energy, emotion, and singer Keven Tecon’s remarkable dance moves when he’s not busy slinging guitar.

Veil Veil Vanish, whose name stems from the notion of one’s identity being lost in city life, formed in San Francisco in 2006 and self-released their debut EP Into A New Mausoleum in 2007. Their recent full-length, Change in the Neon Light (Metropolis), is one of the most impressive albums I’ve heard this year, and with just those two releases under their belts, the rising group has been steadily winning over critics and fans alike, especially those with post-punk, dark wave and shoegaze leanings, and even some of my jaded friends who have, until now, “just ignored all of the new new wave and post-punk stuff.”

. - Sentimentalist Magazine


Discography

*EP - "Into a New Mausoleum" (Self Released / 2007)
*Comp - "Perfect As Cats - A Tribute To The Cure" (Manimal Vinyl / 2008)
*Comp - "Connect The Dots - Music Of The Prids" (Five03 Records / 2008)
*Single - "Anthem For A Doomed Youth" (Metropolis Records / 2009)
*LP - "Change in the Neon Light" (Metropolis Records / 2010)
*Video - "Anthem for a Doomed Youth" (Directed by Justin Coloma, July 2010) - http://vimeo.com/12987235

Photos

Bio

Coming from San Francisco’s distinctive music scene, Veil Veil Vanish has played sold out shows with A Place to Bury Strangers, Cold Cave, Serena-Maneesh, and Xeno & Oaklander.

Veil Veil Vanish recorded their debut full-length album, ‘Change in the Neon Light’, with producer/engineer ATOM who has recently worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cribs, and Arcade Fire along with producer Nick Launay in 2009.

The album was released in 2010 to great critical acclaim and national radio play as well as charting in the CMJ Top 200 for several weeks. Veil Veil Vanish also played a CMJ showcase last October. Veil Veil Vanish receives national radio play from stations such as Live 105, KROQ, Indie 103 and played Live 105's yearly concert BFD 2010 along with Silversun Pickups, Spoon, The Soft Pack and many others.

Veil Veil Vanish was featured on the Cure tribute album ‘Perfect As Cats’ on Manimal Vinyl Records along with Bat For Lashes, Dandy Warhols, and The Muslims (The Soft Pack).The band has since been touring the US in support of the album with a looming Europe tour at the end of the year.

‘Change in the Neon Light’ is a follow up to their critically acclaimed EP ‘Into a New Mausoleum’.

"[Change in the Neon Light] borders on perfection!" -Blurt Magazine 9/10 stars

"Fans of the New York coldwave scene and Wierd Records should definitely take note." - The Big Takeover

“Veil Veil Vanish is the darkest gem in the treasure chest of San Francisco's indie scene.” -NOISE POP Music Festival

“The most creative guitarists on the planet, using pedals and gadgets to build sonic structures that could make Phil Spector cream.” - SF Weekly

Veil Veil Vanish "combines dark, blissed out atmospherics, danceable drums and high-rise choruses turning these alluring soundscapes into seductive pop gems." – Zero Magazine

“Veil Veil Vanish’s debut EP is a salient discharge of swirling, kinetic atmospheres punctured by deep bass lines and urgent, brusque guitars that brush against soft backdrops, threatening to tear them all down.” –Exclaim!