Total Depravity is the fifth full length album for the indie-rock band, The Veils, who over the years have gained cult status and celebrity fans such as Tim Burton and David Lynch. But this time the group has help from El-P to make for an interesting collaboration.
The debut song and the album’s first single ‘Axolotl’, introduces an eerie, disturbed piece of music which wouldn’t feel out of place on an American Horror Story soundtrack. With wispy backing vocals, grating guitar riffs and preachy singing from Finn Andews, it’s enough to be hooked on anticipation of what’s to come.
‘A Bit on the Side’ switches it up with a trip to the Wild West as Andrews’ sings with seductive woe about a goldigging woman, exclaiming “she’ll only love you ‘til the money runs dry, honey honey” while ‘Low Lays the Devil’ is perhaps the most mainstream song on ‘Total Depravity’ as it’s more upbeat and vibrant in colour.
Then there’s the highlight of the entire album, ‘King of Chrome’ which introduces an electronica sounding bass behind vocals sung in the style of a dramatic monologue. It tells the story of a white knuckled truck driver with “an eye for trouble and a broken heart.” – The tale is told with such endearing passion amongst a steady uprising of chord progressions and a rumble of drums which is almost orchestral in its execution. After the intense listen of the previous track, ‘Swimming with Crocodiles’ timely chills the mood and allows for some needed breathing room and a more delicate listen.
‘Iodine and Iron’, another highlight, is a beautiful, stripped down ballad about a toxic relationship that has taken its toll, “Your love’s been stripping me like turpentine” Andrews’ sings, surrounded by a slew of violin solo’s and the hypnotic twinkling of piano keys.
Perhaps the best way to describe ‘Total Depravity’ is to call it an anthology album, since each track tells a meaningful story of sin featuring new characters in different and unique ways; sometimes with anger, sometimes with sadness but always with quality, all thanks to the poetic imagination of Finn Andrews.
‘Total Depravity’ is available now via Nettwerk.
This Veils article was written by Kyle Chamley, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson