Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure

It’s now been six years since Tom Vek released We Have Sound, the well-received cult hit that borrowed from genres such as electro, rock, punk and disco to name but a few. In that time Vek has hardly been seen or heard from (save for a few concerts and a guest appearance on The OC) and the fans have grown restless. No new material is one thing – but no word whatsoever? I enjoyed We Have Sound, and whilst I wouldn’t hail it as a landmark album of the 00’s, I’d be mildly upset to think that it was the only full length album its creator would ever release. It’s probably the best example I can think of where I was completely content for an album just to be ok because it wasn’t attached to any of the styles and trends of the time. It existed entirely on its own terms and not as part of any grander concept or idea. It kind of seems fitting, then, that Leisure Seizure arrives after such a lengthy cool down period, lest we be quick to judge it as “the difficult second album”. It might seem slightly cruel to say it, but after three years your fans may find themselves wondering about follow-up material – six years, and you run the risk of many people forgetting about you altogether. In this context, Leisure Seizure pulls off, more or less, the same feat as its predecessor. These are very definitely Tom Vek songs and no one else’s. They don’t feel aligned to any trend or movement, or even a specific time. Leisure Seizure’s collection of songs could feasibly have been released in 2005 and We Have Sound’s could be released today and no one would be the wiser.

That is, not much has changed for Tom Vek, musically.

Songs still focus on Vek’s characteristic drawl contrasting with a live drum track and off kilter synths. Opener “Hold Your Hand” utilizes them all and is probably the best example from either album of a classic Tom Vek song.

DRUMS!! await you on the album highlight, “Aroused”, which features lots of percussion, distorted vocals and lots of other pretty little noises and instruments which neither myself nor Google can identify. Vek’s comeback single is “A Chore” which, aside from being a very convenient pun in waiting, is also evidence that Vek is aware of just how much mileage his “unique” voice has. He mixes up styles here enough to stop his voice becoming the ugly, awkward elephant in the room. (“You’re not really listening to meeeee” is bellowed with sufficient conviction). I’m also a fan of “A.P.O.L.O.G.Y.”. As someone who enjoyed “If You Want” on the previous album, it’s good to hear another Tom Vek track where the bass guitar is ridiculously loud. Although as a UK person I can’t stop trying to compare it to Noah and The Whale track, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”. Two completely different artists, two completely different tracks…lots of dots.

And moments of “meh”, Leisure Seizure has them, too. “We Do Nothing” seems like it might turn into a decent enough catchy tune, but stalls every time that pesky chorus comes around. “World of Doubt” is ridiculous, a grungy rap piece and stands as one of Vek’s more offensive numbers.

I am a fairly critical music listener so I find it odd that I treat Tom Vek with the same forgiveness and understanding I would offer a close relative – mistakes are brushed aside, forgotten, in the past. It’s his shining moments that matter. It probably doesn’t make for very good objectivity, but I get the impression that Vek has an unusually high amount of listeners who follow my philosophy. It’s true, you’d probably find better singers around closing time in your local Karaoke bar – but it’s nice to have him back.

Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-06-29T11:36:21-07:00 rating 3.1 out of 5

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