Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Oliver: Velvet Crush - Drive Me Down (7 December 1991)

I chose this track because it's an interesting reminder of the days when Creation Records licenced a number of left field international acts to go with their homegrown roster.  Shonen Knife were one beneficiary before a doubtless apocryphal tale that Noel Gallagher insisted they be dropped from the label before Oasis would sign for it.  Incidentally, Rhode Island band Velvet Crush released their second album, Teenage Symphonies to God in the same year that Definitely Maybe came out, but they'd been on their turf considerably earlier than that.  Their own debut album, In The Presence of Greatness promises great things to this newcomer if Drive Me Down is anything to judge it by.

After a near classical minuet opening, the track barrels down into a sparkling piece of indie rock, working that classic indie trick of marrying sad lyrics to uplifting music as singer Paul Chastain reflects on that horrible feeling of seeing someone who's out of your league and having that dispiriting realisation compounded by the object of his desire. The whole piece has a kind of "convertible roof down while driving to ruminate over the sea view" feel to it which works wonderfully well.  Why Velvet Crush can pull this off so effortlessly, whereas someone like Dodgy made the listener harrumph their appreciation, is something I can't quite put my finger on.

As sure as night follows day, and with voices straining at the seams, there's a "softer" version too.

Videos courtesy of MrAlstec and oseriu.

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