Everything Is Amplified

Written by: TL on 06/03/2011 21:26:33

Browsing through the 'Similar Artists' section of Veto's page, searching for accurate references for the Danish electro/rock band's sound, two things are apparent to me: All of the bands listed are Danish and almost none of them sound similar to Veto. Quite a strong symptom of the quartet not having anywhere the amount of success abroad as they have at home, which I've always found strange, given that Veto are among the few popular Danish bands that don't sound like a little-brother band to any one influential foreign band.

On their latest album "Everything Is Amplified", which is their third LP, Veto continue along the line laid out between their debut "There's A Beat In All Machines" and 2008's sophomore "Crushing Digits". Conventional instrumentation is being fased out of a soundscape that was minimalist to begin with, and these days I'd hence rather call Veto flat out electronica, as opposed to electro/rock, even while I realize that this makes it harder for this site to assess their quality with much authority.

Regardless, we're still fit to recognize that Veto are, as they have always been, the masters of conjuring up cool beats and grooves, within atmospheres that are established almost exclusively through dark electronics. While guitars are occasionally strummed, and synths provide tones that remind me of Daft Punk and Depeche Mode, the backbone of the sound is the interplay between the cheeky beats and the melancholic singing of mainman Troels Abrahamsen.

The problem for Veto is, that while both those are their strong areas, making them carry the mainstay of the listener's attention doesn't really add up to an experience that's all that great. It's clear for all to hear that Veto have skills, and that sounding cool is an art they have down to a T, but their songs appear recognizable rather than memorable, with mood and intensity varying very little. The exceptions to this observation are second track "Am I Awake Or Should I Wake" and fifth track "Already Ready", in which Abrahamsen actually takes his singing towards the borders of his comfort zone, making for parts that are emotionally evocative in a manner that suits him, yet is heard all too rarely.

A central observation to make, is that Veto are unusual, for better and worse, in that they seldom have very obvious instrumental melodies take centre stage in their music. And while this can be viewed as a cool concept or maybe a point of integrity for them, it occurs to me as much as a handicap that seemingly inhibits every record of theirs to some extent. Effectively "Everything Is Amplified" seems to me like yet another example of how Veto have their shit together much more than most bands, yet still fail to consistenly pen songs that are good enough to get truly excited about.


Download: Am I Awake Or Should I Wake Up, Already Ready,
For The Fans Of: Kashmir, White Lies, Depeche Mode,

Release Date 25.02.2011

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