Velvet Trip - Velvet Trip & The Six Moon Skies (2019)
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, the four-piece group of Velvet Trip are debuting with this EP, following a tease in the form of the “Take Control of Your Mind” advance single. Leading with the lengthily-titled “All My Life I Was 12ft Tall & Told My Tales Just the Same”, the group's psychedelic blues rock gets unfurled in flavorful form, with the earthy guitar tones and chill but energized drumming joining the solid bass and muted keyboards to form a deep soak of warm vibes. The singer leans towards Jimi Hendrix's friendly roughness in his inflection, but keeps it at a level of acknowledgment, rather than imitation, while the keyboardist gets to brandish a bit of Ray Manzarek riffage in the breakdown.
After a resurgence of energy for the finish, the intro track gives way to a more grounded groove as “Voodoo Cosmic Girl” picks up. Swinging between relatively locked-down rocking for the vocal sections and cutting loose in the interstitial instrumentals, it's clear that the band are having a lot of fun with the tune. Add to that the detail that each of the tracks are live one-run takes, and things get even more impressive, with the fine hooking of the players throwing lead lines to each other, catching them and expanding in fantastic style. The shift to “Take Control of Your Mind” comes so smoothly that you may not even catch the change-over without your eyes on the player, but it shifts into an even tighter riff swirl, with the echo effects in the later part of the song accentuating its hypnotic qualities.
In the EP's second half, “Hurricane” offers a quick (two minutes and change) keyboard-driven groover that emulates its name-sake by gradually intensifying, with spots of relative calm making the wilder parts strike that much harder. At seven minutes plus, “The Six Moon Skies” takes place as the EP's longest song, and the rambling riff explorations get their fullest indulgence here, as you might expect. It also shows some of the tenderest emotional pieces from the group, with some stripped-down bridges playing up the melodic emphasis to beautiful effect. The ride out of it and into the closing track offers some truly lush work to savor, and should recapture the attention of anyone playing it as background material.
Lastly, “The Man from the Blue Sun” starts off with a slow burn cruise, the drums picking up momentum and power, and eventually pushing things to where a guitar solo can lay in its piece, and guide the way to the high-flourish finale. It puts a nice cap on an all-around impressive set, with the debut and live-take qualities making things even more dazzling. Fans of psych rock, do yourself a favor and be sure to keep an ear on this band after you listen to the EP for yourself.
For Fans Of; Acid Elephant, Farflung, Frank Sabbath, Frozen Planet....1969, Third Ear Experience