Veil Veil Vanish - Change in the Neon Light (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Veil Veil Vanish

Change in the Neon Light (2010)


Veil Veil Vanish strike upon territory on this full-length debut, Change in the Neon Light, that's convincingly chaste and, at times, breathtaking. The production flourishes and timbre of its cleanly integrated electronic plumes reveal it as a pure product of modern rock but the rather genuine ache and melancholic yearn of it better calls up what must be the band's direct influences--namely, the Cure and New Order.

While VVV seem more emotionally stable than the former and more foreboding and desperate than the latter, it's a middle ground that can be incredibly alluring. The opening title track provides one of the band's best, most steadfast examples of this, finding dynamics in subtlety and simple verse/chorus transition, while its follower, "Anthem for a Doomed Youth" smartly channels hints of early U2 amid its dirge-swallowed bass tones. Granted, you spell it out and these songs' lyrics aren't anything to write home about: depictions of a fluorescent, fractured future you'd expect out of a cinematic dystopia, only questionably worded and too taut to an AABB rhyme scheme ("Buildings so high they block the sun / so now it's time to have some fun. / But when the cracks start to show / there's nothing left we used to know"). But because these phrases are declared by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Tecon so breathily and steadily, you really do believe the metaphor in spite of its possibly contrived nature and ultimately ignore the simplicity of the pattern.

The band just somehow manage to find life in stark synthetics, likely thanks to the sheets of melody applied to their linear, seething textures. A programmed dance beat infects "Modern Lust"; in another band's hands this is vapid, self-referential dance floor pap. In VVV's grip, it's not-quite-shielded, crippling loneliness conveyed through easily swallowed repetition, driven home by Tecon coldly stuttering, "Let's just fuck to feel in love." Yeah, this seems pedantic on paper, but on record it's just surprisingly sharp.

The record seemingly closes with the band adding a little more of a depressed drone and multiple synthesized layers to "Detachment" and "The Wilderness," but it works fine all the same. This is a longing but tight and concise debut that, while could stand to be stronger poetically, still manages a rather invasively funereal tone for its compelling course.

Change in the Neon Light