The Velvet Ants - Solt Olio (Zeptune Records) 
The Velvet Ants - Solt Olio 

I have come to the conclusion that Ian Margolycz, Singer/Guitarist with the Velvet Ants,  is something of a sociopath. According to the band's Facebook page, the trio's line-up has changed four times since 2007 with Ian as the only remaining original member, leading me to believe he is a talented musician but a massive pain in the ass. The blissed-out, surfer cool of opening tracks 'Find You', 'Cardigan's Fable' and 'KP (Return of Youth)' suggest that Margolycz and co. are influenced by the sawn-off indie-pop fuzz of Sonic Youth or Placebo. But tracks like 'What If I' and 'Mirror Matches' are much more like Redd Kross, the Beach Boys or the more mellow moments of latter day Beatles. Meanwhile the acoustic driven menace of 'Idle Tears' has an altogether more brooding, Batman soundtrack-esque feel to it.

The intriguingly title 'The Hornet's Eye Is Grey' is a dreamy, warm summer's day of a tune, the kind Swim Deep did so well with in 2013. By contrast, 'Digitalis' is an almost punk-ish with stabbing drums and an almost futuristic urgency. This is smart, eclectic and genuinely interesting stuff that, like an onion, has multiple layers and, potentially, the ability to make you cry. 'Over Harbors' is essentially a dark, fuzzy, shoe-gaze of a romp that feels oh so good while 'Barricada Rota' is a mellower, more sombre affair with delightful Lemonheads drums and a smooth, sparse bass line. 'Save Room For The Water' is a straight-up grunge beast with dark tinges and final track 'My Alibi' is a Scandinavian indie feeling tune that infused with organs and country guitars. The Velvet Ants obviously have talent but their longevity will depend entirely on whether main-man Ian can attract a new set of band mates or not - because Jordan and Eric will surely tire of him soon.