[sic] Magazine

The Veils – Sun Gangs

Finn Andrews continues his Jeff Buckley-cum-Nick Cave-circa-Murder-Ballads vocal odyssey as the figurehead of the seemingly perennial outsiders The Veils. Peddling earnest piano-ballads and considered indie-rock with a solid dash of Echo And The Bunnymen-gloom, Bernard Butler-produced ‘Sit Down By The Fire’ sounds as it ought to, a bit like Dog Man Star. ‘The Letter’ is what Interpol’s Our Love To Admire should have sounded like, all spooky walls of sound aimed at the correct distance from the charts.

It all goes a little Dig, Lazarus, Dig on ‘Killed By The Boom’, the emotive vitriol becomes spoken and frenzied. Ed Harcourt bobs in from time to time with his Hammond organ. Assorted strings and a change of pace and mood in ‘The House She Lived In’ provide welcome variety, if not heavyweight merit. Nowhere is The Veils’ maturity however more evident than on the deservedly indulgent and epic ‘Larkspur’, which rolls around the tale-end of the album, writhing like colliding weather fronts before releasing pouring anguish after a lull. Andrews exorcises over tribal drumming, heavy, gothic bass and protesting, high-end guitar work – remember, this album started in Suede-country, and closes in cyclical piano outro, acknowledging the fact with the track’s title, ‘Begin Again’.

Sun Gangs is an inventive experience but one that rarely challenges, such is their fine-tuned balance. It is somehow a natural extension of both albums before it, yet sufficiently different to discuss evolution. The Veils started in the 60s with a respectful collection of light and fragile jangles before embracing their dark, eye-linered side and allowing their inner, love-spurned romantic out. On Sun Gangs, this battered heart is lifted and offered to the listener, literally on its sleeve.