Velodrone Releases Self-Titled LP

In their self-titled debut, which is currently available everywhere quality indie rock is sold and streamed, Los Angeles’ own Velodrone are setting the tone for their career much like any other rock band would in their very first album together, but more than anything else, they’re establishing the priorities they have as a band through the very construction of the LP’s tracklist. Opening with “Love Race” and crushing us with as much intensity as the group can muster from within the confines of a recording studio, Velodrone aren’t wasting our time with a lot of fluff and allusions to grandeur in this album; they’re getting right down to the business of giving us pure rock and rock grease, and it’s my opinion that they picked the right time to drop this LP in 2020. 


Whether heard on shuffle or played straight through as was originally intended by the band, I feel like the abrasive concert vibe of the music and the fluidity of the songs in general remains relatively the same. There’s an angst to “Black Cat,” “Together,” “Reality” and “Sleepwalking” that you just can’t rehearse into existence, and if the depth of the performance as it’s demonstrated by Velodrone in this setting is anything like what we’re going to see and hear when they take to the stage in the future, theirs will quickly become one of the hotter shows for heavy music aficionados to think about checking out in the new year still ahead. 

There’s not as much bass presence in “Voyeur,” “Elated,” “Harvest Moon” and the curious “Wysiwyg” as one might have expected if going off of this group’s aural framework as it applies to the first two songs on the record, but if you ask me, this is the kind of attribute that directly separates Velodrone’s sound from that of an old school alternative hard rock most millennial audiences would quickly dismiss as both outdated and irrelevant to present artistic tastes. This is an act that doesn’t want to relive the past so much as they want to use its greatest hits as a jumping off point for making supremely dark and pressurized melodies, and for my money that makes theirs one of the more provocative debuts to have come into my life in the past few months. 

Essentially a second (or third?) generation grunge album with more vitality than anything that came before it could ever be accused of – nor lay claim to – possessing, Velodrone’s first record is a multilayered release from a band that is a lot more calculating than it would initially seem, and provided they’re able to keep their collective nose to the grindstone in their campaign for dominance in the American underground, I think this LP could be the cornerstone of a beautiful indie career. Their style is familiar but their play is still in its infancy, and if given the right time and space to succeed, something tells me Velodrone are going to get everything they set out to score and more. 

Michael Rand 

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