I like these guys. Velvet Insane and their music comes across as four rather likable guys who it would be fun to lift a few beers with, or pass around a smoke, after a long day and chew the fat about what’s going on. Hailing from a small town called Östersund in Sweden they come across as down to earth dudes who want to simply play rock music and have a good time without getting all caught up in the hype, drama and hyperbole normally associated with artists these days. That’s quite a refreshing throwback in my book.
The Velvet Insane album from their own Garden Of Sweden label presents a nice balance of production decisions which allow the group’s skills to come across and be clearly heard without the distraction of common studio tricks and the technological hocus pocus wizardry that can overshadow a young band’s natural talent. Sometimes it’s vastly overlooked that good music only has to be good music and nothing more. I could think of dozens of examples of recent records which miss this mark and make my point, but why bother? If you have a fair pair of ears then I know you know what I’m talking about.
The lineup of this Scandinavian quartet features Jonas Eriksson on lead vocals, Jesper Lindgren plays the guitar, Tobias Reimbertsson on drums and Niklas Henriksson is the guy behind the bass. As a rule they don’t deviate from the standard intro, verse, chorus, bridge and outro in their songwriting and this approach works well for them on numbers like High On Love, Help Me, Break Out Of Eden, and Nottingman. They take the more scenic route and head into a more esoteric direction on Six Steps Away, King Of The Foolish, and My Way Of Life Is You.
While I can’t claim to have been in the recording room when they were making their record I do know enough about production process that goes on in that space. Producers can either stay out of the artists’ way and let the artists do what artists do best, (i.e.: make art), or they can see themselves as being at least as equally an important element to the tracking process and make it more about what the producer’s vision is in the end product than that of the artists they work with. I usually have found the latter of those methods to be the more satisfying of the two.
From what little I do know about the making of the Velvet Insane album, and since I have not seen any name associated with anyone in the production capacity on this project, I believe the odds may be in the favor of it having been self produced. If that is the case, and on my part there are no aspersions cast if it was, then these boys did a rather competent job of presenting themselves here. Most listeners just want to hear what you really sound like and not what your sound could be when reprocessed with the latest digital gadgets in post production. I wish more of our so called up and coming rockers would take a cue from these Nordic lads.