Velvet Starlings: Technicolour Shakedown [Album Review]

Velvet Starlings
Technicolour Shakedown
Kitten Robot/SoundX3 Records [2021]

The Fire Note headphone approved

Velvet Starlings is a 60’s infused garage rock ‘n’ roll band hailing from Los Angeles and the beach cities of Southern California. The band was founded by guitarist and organ player Christian Gisborne but now is rounded out with brothers Foster and Hudson Poling, who play drums and bass respectively. Their debut record, Technicolour Shakedown, builds its foundation from some of their influences like early Jack White, Thee Oh Sees and Arctic Monkeys, while the band has created a fresh sizzling psych fuzz with a retro UK Invasion of beats and vocals that stick in your head. The album is a big middle finger highlight that rock n roll is not dead and proves that their sound is timeless.

First track, “She Said (She Said),” starts off with a retro woozy organ before Velvet Starlings take things to next level and kick the track into high gear with a ripping instrument surge that could instantly ignite a quick mosh pit. The harmonious vocals come at you with a slightly fuzzed effect that is infectious as the track shakes your ass off. “Checkmate” opens with a hard riff and some “Ooh Ooh Oohs” before Gisborne’s gritty vocal guides you through the song. This full throttle attack is the appeal to Technicolour Shakedown as its foot tapping momentum maintains a solid ripple out of your speakers with each song. “Can’t Control” is another track that keeps your ear as you will connect with the feeling Gisborne describes in the catchy chorus when he rhythmically belts out “I can’t control my feet / got the music in my head / and I’m restless I’m asleep because I’m high on the feeling! / Can’t get you off my mind / like a song I have in my head / and I need you all the time / and it just keeps repeating.”

Velvet Starlings offer a fresh take on garage rock with Technicolour Shakedown as it thrives with its unrestrained vocals, guitar electricity and well placed supporting organ. The songs have a more classic song structure base as you can easily hear The Kinks 1966 classic Face To Face brewing inside but then the group mixes in a more attitude heavy delivery garage rock that reminds me of Spokane’s The Makers. When you toss in some “Yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh’s,” a jamming instrumental closer, a 31 minute runtime and some modern day energy from being holed up for the past year, Velvet Starlings have struck a chord and will have you firmly believing “Rock is Life!”

Key Tracks: “She Said (She Said)” / “Checkmate” / “Can’t Control”

Artists With Similar Fire: The Makers / Paul Orwell / The Kinks

Velvet Starlings Website
Velvet Starlings Bandcamp
Velvet Starlings Facebook
Kitten Robot Records
SoundX3 Records

Christopher Anthony
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