"Modern Noise". That album was pretty straight forward, showing off Thomas' less progressive side. Here though... I am not really sure where he went with this.
"Velcro Kid" is most certainly not a metal album. Instead, we get to experience some atmospheric electronic music that wants to create a full picture of the album. Thomas Giles takes his opportunity to expand his writing to more unknown territories, making sure that no one can connect this to his main band. This also means that fans of BTBAM might not enjoy this record at all, but I believe that every fan should give it a fair chance, even if it is a big step out of ones comfort zone.
The best real comparison to "Velcro Kid" I can do is the more ambient releases of Devin Townsend, because even if it does not sound anything like "Devlab", "The Hummer", or "Ghost", it is an album that does not have a lot of structure, is very calm, and is far, far away from what we are used to hear from Thomas. Speaking of Devin, he does make a guest appearance on the track "Gazer", and he uses his smooth silent voice to give this ethereal track even more ethereality (is that even a word?). Every time the Dev appears, greatness happens. Another guest is Jake Troth, whom I have never heard of before, and while he does add his touch to the song "Devotion", it is more than likely that I will not look more into that guy's career (mostly because he makes pop music... yep).
The whole sound is very soothing and relaxing, but there is very little in here that sticks with you in an instant. The preaching propaganda in "Strangers In A Paranoid Mind" certainly breaks up the album in a neat way, making it easy to remember, but the album overall is kind of a big blob. It is all the same theme, same tempo, and since the song transitions are smooth as silk, it makes it harder to notice where they start and end. At the same time though, it acts like a strength, making the album feel unified, well welded into a solid structure that will not crumble.
If I had to choose a favourite, I would go with "Slow Gold Becoming", not because it skews off an awful lot from the rest of the material, but because the subtle things in this track are simply exquisite. The tingling keys that taps on the music like light rain, Thomas' soft vocals, and the sporadic drum pattern, they all help in making this song really cool. Other sweet highlights are the before mentioned "Strangers In A Paranoid Mind, the opener "Immersion Highway", and the symphonic "Future of The Year".
In the end though, the question is if "Velcro Kid" is an enjoyable album, and I would say that it is. While it may not have the strong songs like "Modern Noise" had, it instead impress with solid performance and a nice sound that works nicely for those who just wants to wind down for a moment from the hectic life that we all live. The lack of metal is of course one point that might make the most of you to ignore this album, and I totally get that, but give it a fair chance instead of dismissing it instantly. After all, Thomas Giles made a lot of effort to get out of his comfort zone, so doing the same is the least you can do.
Songs worthy of recognition: Slow Gold Becoming, Immersion Highway, Strangers In A Paranoid Mind
Rating: 6,5/10 Gazers
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