What's Keeping You
It's tempting to say that "what's keeping you" is the result of the boundless energy invested by Veluxe, but it's really the product of stubborn bloody-mindedness, both personally and musically. Staying together as a group is tough enough under the best of circumstances. Doing so in the face of constant external catastrophe, however, requires either total cluelessness or a firm belief in the musical idea. In the case of "what's keeping you," it's definitely the latter. Following the DIY tradition, Veluxe (Darren DeWispelaere - guitars/vocals, Adam Porter - bass, Steve Daniels - drums) diligently tracked the parts themselves in their Rochester, New York studio space. As recording progressed in 2004, Steve found himself spending more time in the hospital than the drum booth, his girlfriend clinging to life while doctors frowned. But Adam, Darren, and the musical idea derailed his imminent departure from the band. They waited...and waited. Things worked out for the best and Veluxe stayed intact, focused on seeing the music through. Then began the often frustrating process of trying to explain what they heard in their head through the faders on a mixing board to their mixing engineer. Bouncing back and forth from personal and technical setbacks. . . Philadelphia to New York City, ultimately triumphant, all in pursuit of a hand-sized piece of plastic. Maybe there's something to be said for that "follow your goals" ideology. It's done. It's exactly what they wanted it to be. Some things are worth the wait. Veluxe plays smart, angular indie-rock with a pop sensibility. They've put together a disc of strong songs that capture the things they like most about music. From the lush "heart-on-the-sleeve" dirge of Blood and Iron to the warm, jangly guitar of Ode to a Record Store Clerk to the pop-alt-twang sound of Black Cloud, the tracks on "what's keeping you" represent all they've hoped to create over the past two years. Guitarist Tim Elswick has been welcomed into the band to replicate the CD live. Now is the moment where a band has to be vulnerable. You'll be listening with an analytical ear, and chances are you think you've heard it all before, but Veluxe is confident that "what's keeping you" makes a strong, individualistic musical statement that sets it apart. In the end, that's all they really wanted to make.